Friday, November 8, 2019

Dual Purpose | March 2019

Severin Gulepa is a Swiss artist well known in the desert region for the work he has done with the Matza cooperative at Roys Motel in Amboy, CA. I'd seen this series of impressive projects when driving through Amboy to Santa Fe and Monument Valley. In November 2017, Severin contacted me about stopping by and he ended up attending the open house for Johanna Wagner. Following our meeting, Severin asked about proposing a residency as well as how to participate in the Joshua Treenial. We found a great way to accomplish both when Severin proposed a Treenial project for 2019 and I agreed to have him in residence in the period leading up to the event.

In keeping with the theme of Paradise :: Parallax, Severin proposed making two large structures inspired by Native American pottery and basketwork forms. He arrived in mid-March following an apartment move in Geneva with just three weeks to get his project completed. We selected a site and Seeverin wasted no time getting to work. Day after day he was in the field, portable tools, ladder and tons of wood in hand. After about 10 days, he had completed the first structure. No sooner was this done than the cruel Spring winds blew through and shredded the piece. Unfazed, he went back to work on a more reinforced and wider spread version.


This second piece survived the continuing winds and became the installation titled Supermarket. Once finished with his sculpture, Severin volunteered his skills during installation and helped several others, sharing his learning about concrete anchoring, angle of orientation with the winds and doubled reinforcing. Many thanks to Severin for spending time here, sharing his impressive work and helping others achieve their Treenial Projects April 12-14.


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