Twin box trucks are planted in a polo field in my hometown – cabs buried, back doors flung open to the elements. Parallel sentinels, stripped of signage, sharing the manicured expanse with a 43-foot-tall topiary Puppy by Jeff Koons.
Artist Dan Colen titled the piece At Least They Died Together (After Dash), referencing his late creative cohort Dash Snow, who died of an overdose in 2009. The name complicates the scenario: Have the trucks dropped from the sky, or grown from the ground? Is this a burial or a planting? Will life grow from it, or be memorialized?
Last weekend, the duo I.U.D. climbed atop the trucks, each musician on her own perch (doors closed for the concert). Their noise music capped the luncheon launch of Colen’s retrospective Dan Colen: Help! at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, CT.
Inside the barn-like Center, a series of installations dialogue with the dialectic parked outside: 23 canaries fly around a nest of trash metal, caged in by curtain of 150,00 glass crack pipes filled with rosebuds. In keeping with his iconoclastic practice, Colen blurs high and low; ephemera and excrement equalize the high-art effect of the exhibition’s setting. Before Help! closes in September, I want to scour the grounds for tire tracks, evoked by this leather-tred top.