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Indepth Arts News:

"The POST-ITŪ Show: Contemporary Fine Post-It Note Art"
2003-01-04 until 2003-01-25
NURTUREart Non-Profit, Inc.
New York, NY, USA United States of America

I love those Post-It Notes! I hate those Post-It Notes! If the reaction was any less divided, perhaps an ambivalence would point to the ubiquity of these little notes itself, which, if that makes them banal or taken for granted by now, still somehow manage to catch our attention. In the case of this exhibition, the Notes have caught artists' interest for either using the Post-It as a medium or as a component in a work, or reflecting on it as an object or unit for construction.

A variety of uses and functions are explored by the artists in this show, from using the Notes for processes of thinking or records of annotation, to focusing on the more formal aspects of the shapes and colors- the regular square and rectangle geometries.

In the case of the playwright, Trish Harnetiaux, the Notes provided dramatic content- Darren, husband of the play's central character, becomes obsessed with Post-It Note art, creating a "masterpiece" that takes his life in a new direction, complicating his wife's search for self.

Some artists see the Post-It as a metaphorical "bit" - a single swappable tile of noted data, for one piece of information, as in the case of Corine Borgnet, and as others, as a unit for "bytes." Simone Huesler and Chris Kavanaugh combine differently colored Post-Its together in digitalesque "Post-It as pixel" portraits, like Kavanaugh's Chuck Close-ian faces, and Huesler's Children's Toy Blocks, LiteBrite, or ColorForms-like images. More classically, Oliver Lanz blends Post-Its as tiles into free-form gestural collages, but somehow all use the native colors of the Post-It as an existing given standard palette from which to compose or draw upon.

Joey Verzosa ponders the thing itself, the construction of the object; blithely remaking a note out of construction paper, its simulacra evoking its thing-ness in a life-size sculpture of the object at scale. Oliver Diaz employs it as negative space, "Post-It as Pasty"; Post-It as a device for deletion, covering, temporarily masking the "ex" from the group photo, as the brown paper sleeve over something to hide, in a piece of unknown visual matter.

In an "Studio360," WNYC radio interview called "Deconstructing the Post-It", Paola Antonelli, design curator at the Museum of Modern Art, "collects her thoughts on the indispensable yellow sticky, and noted, " . . .the formal aspects of the Note combine in a form-equals-functional legibility: the Square as the center focus and focusing attention to the center point, and Yellow - the color of alert, what should be done, what is urgent." Whether visually chic or geek, it's somehow charming and endearing.

Some effects of Post-It Notes and the overlapping/blending digital and paper worlds of recorded information, is rendered in this show. Post-It Notes, Post-Its, stickies posted everywhere - as a ubiquitous office material supply now, and a staple of most desks, some would even say indispensable to their way of thinking, while others see it a form of adhesive graffiti, as scaly build ups of thoughts, notes, forming frills around computers- like desktop barnacles, its a testament for memory or a lack thereof. Considering the aforementioned, and alongside a current discussion of impoverished materials in art, the use of it as informal material is both very contemporary and throwback to the pre-digital.

It's an analog stamp of the Nineties- a decade of transition for the general public into computing, so from desktop publishing to digital-desktop-Post-Its, it's a slice of the new brain-computer relationships, and analog/digital schism as a vestige of the personal handwritten. For mind-space versus visual information-space, whether its desk space or desktop, this conversation is exemplified by the inscriptions on these info-crumb/kernel sticky squares; as a portable extension of our senses; its widespread use from at home to business, to art, effectively permanently attaches Post-It Notes as a token of the 1990's.

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