What is it about traveling that so often leads to longing for something missed? Is it simply the physical departure from normal routine that allows the mind to venture into the recesses of the past, of paths not taken or of people who have somehow slipped away over time? A case can be made that gaining new experiences requires a subconscious reordering of the old. Maybe it is necessary that you leave behind something to gain something new. It is the argument that the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking made about the difficulties of time travel. It is tough to get past that pesky conservation of mass that keeps us with a finite quantity of material to work with.
Mick Burson traveled the world making the art that is in the show Wend, opening this Friday at the Richard Levy Gallery. Consisting of sculptures, paintings, photographs and drawings, the exhibit is a multi-media convergence of items constructed as he continued his, in his words, “life-long performance of wandering around while appearing to have a destination.” The works were made as he went along using whatever was handy, reflecting both the materials and conditions at the time of their creation. Upon completion of each work, he would box it up and ship it back to the Richard Levy Gallery where it would be unpacked and set aside for the show. It is an old and clever way of making a travel log. Now you can own a little bit of Burson’s journey. Though, at its root, the contemporary art market is all about offering a glimpse and slice of every artist’s journey.
“Letter Writing Station” is different from the rest of the work in this exhibit. It is interactive and not for sale. In fact, it is an experience you share with someone not there. Desk, mailbox, postcards, stamps; it is an invitation for you to write a letter to someone. It is your opportunity to send back a brief, tangible thought to someone you know elsewhere. In this piece, Burson offers you the opportunity to take his place and be on the shipping side of the shipping/receiving art equation he has created in Weld. To complete this work, all that is missing is you.