Wednesday, January 15, 2003

"Beige Vinyl" Prajex - pay toilet studio space, Murphy Art Center - Jan. 15, 2003 - 2 stars


"Polymedia by Prajex" is what the postcard touted and polymedia is what was delivered in this quasi installation, more a room with stuff in K. Artists Mark Diekhoff and Jed Bagby turned what was formally a pay toilet into nothing short of an interesting exhibition (quite literally) space. You can't put your finger on whatever in God's name they were trying to convey, but it was still fun to peer into the space with artist-recorded twangy, plunk-plunk-plunk guitar music eerily playing an annoying, nonstop, poetically impulsive ballad. Are they funnier than the rest of us, have more time on their hands or artistically more intelligent? An intentionally awkward sounding singer sang lines like, 'The lightning bugs in jars / (refrain) give it a chance / ahhhh Aubergine." Kermit the Frog is Pavaratti and Madonna a lyricist in contrast, so it was not a surprise that the tip jar was empty. Even though there were Reese's Cups and York Peppermint Patties to seduce an audience, I was the only one I know of that visited the space, had a Patty and happily signed their guestbook. In this tiny space were copies of their novels, inkjet prints for $25 and other stuff for sale. Their Web site has more of this curious "art" stuff for sale. Marketing was played up heavily here, more so than art, of which quality was sacrificed overall. Several large paintings, offered up at $799 each, were stacked in the hall and too big to flip through though the pale and warm colored swirling abstract on top was great. This was clumsy, but not without a funny factor. I hope it was supposed to be funny. 317-357-4710; www.prajex.com. -Mary Lee Pappas

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