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The Opening of InsideOut took place on Friday June 8

The people who came to the opening event of the InsideOut show by Bret Bourman were slightly nervous because they know he was a ballet dancer and they were afraid that an interactive performance piece would involve something embarrassing in a tutu.  But they need not have worried. At first no one ventured into the gallery, but were whooshed on in by invitation. And they came inside and said nothing for the longest time. That is, about fifteen people in one room saying nothing. Bret’s piece involved the possibility of perception without comment, since he did not have labels on anything and there was no explanation whatsoever as to what one was looking at.


Outside was a kitchen sink with empty photo albums in it, drying in the dish rack. Above it, where one might have a window to look out, was a board with a mirror right in the middle.


Inside, there was clothesline strung from a triple ring in the middle, and on it were clothes clips with blank white pieces of photographic paper hanging.


There was a “tree of life” made of a piece of rolled corrugated roofing material, bound by hosepipe, displaying at the core some green tubing.


There were two waterfalls and waves made from white plastic lattice work, and white tubes.


There was a smokestack shaped set of ducts with a welcome mat in front of it, with a baseball and two gloves next to it. When one looked inside, if one did, there was a mirror at the bottom.


And on one wall was a hopscotch board made of duct tape, contained in a chicken wire cage, with a bale  of hay next to it.



This show, comprising these objects,  has to do with memory and with presence, with purification and with movement and life and anticipation, and coming back to the Self. It has to do with grasping, with connection, with the components of existence and the way they fit together.


After forty minutes or so of milling around, Bret began to take the individual pieces apart. He asked people to help move things, and put them somewhere else- so a large pile of things grew into a strange mound in the middle of the room, and people made noises and sang- one man sang The Three Penny Opera in German, lying under the table, draped in the liberated hopscotch board, and blowing into the hose.



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InsideOut 06.08.2012 Installation/Performance

InsideOut is the first east coast solo exhibition of the work of artist Bret Bourman.  The exhibition explores questions about the internal and external dialogues between man and the environment of which he is a part. Both the interior and exterior spaces of the gallery are incorporated with elements that diametrically oppose these respective environments.

In this exhibit Bourman utilizes installation in combination with performance art to facilitate an event at which people collectively create something from their surroundings to benefit others. Viewers of the exhibit inform the work by volunteering to participate in the rearrangement of the installationʼs elements. The elements are assembled to create a new whole, and a viewer is then invited to climb inside of the composition so that he or she may emerge benefited by the groupʼs collaborative offering.

Video of the event, using footage gathered by staged cameras, as well as footage that opening night viewers may wish to contribute from their own handheld devices, will become an integral part of the exhibition.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these works will be donated by the artist for the preservation of the cultural traditions of Tibet.

some works include:
   • aveda tree — multi media. permanent installation: Aveda Inc., VanDavis Aveda.
   • building bridges — video art. toured exhibition: Fowler Museum, University of Tehran,
        and projected on edifices in Tehran.
   • giselle — pencil on paper. permanent collection: LʼOpéra National de Paris.
   • vision at daybreak — oil on canvas. private collection: Laura San Giacomo.
   • oats — multi media. permanent installation: City of West Hollywood.

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The show, the work, the world…

After the show, after trying to publicize it, selecting the work, getting it hung, putting on the opening, and cleaning up, what remains to be done? Everything! There is no coasting along on the thrilling fact that Peter’s paintings are hanging on the walls and look great. People must come see them. Sitting the gallery, one can’t help but notice that most people are not so interested in looking at art. They walk by- the cool, the uncool, the tired, the hungry, the busy, the happy, the beautiful, the ugly, and a few stop in, some comment and enjoy- and they are the ones who make it seem good to be there. Children and younger people seem curious and open. I wonder if the images were printed on mugs and tee-shirts whether people would come in? If, as a former exhibitor claimed, we sold chocolate? Something that people felt was a necessary, somewhat enjoyable, vital part of their lives, challenging- engaging. Important. Isn’t seeing something human that reflects experience important? These aren’t just experiences like “my foot hurts,” or “Man, is she hot!” or “how can I get him to love me more?”"- these are more like “If you do not inhibit your mind by all sorts of artificial barriers, if you cease being afraid of death for a while, if you use the eyes not only in your head but in your mind, there is a lot going on- and it’s stuff that connects you to the cosmos. To others. To your own heart. It’s in all of us. It’s all inside you! It’s here! Look!” kinds of things. Boy, maybe I should do the sandwich board thing and just walk around saying EAT AT URSA MAJOR! Food for the soul. Use the toilet. Have a drink of water. Talk. Look. Be.

That does not begin to touch the art fair phenomenon, the big old Art as Business, trendiness issue. How does a real fine artist find his viewership? How do they find him?

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