As part of Honor Fraser’s “Move In Again” performance series, artist Patrick Walsh presented a new piece, “Hot Pot Charmer; Day #3”. Walsh’s practice has focused primarily on sculpture, but has been getting some recent attention for his performance work, including a recent collaboration with Jory Rabinovitz and NGUZUNGUZU for NADA
Walsh prepared the space by hanging a heavy-duty winch from one of Honor Fraser’s burly wooden support beams. In the background played a hypnotic collage of vuvuzelas with dripping water. Hung from the winch was a group of intertwined and entangled chains and nylon ropes, disappearing into a large steel pail on a hotplate on the floor. Using a remote control, Walsh raised and lowered the jumble of strands, revealing the molten wax contained in the pail, which collected on the hanging mass with every cycle. Concurrently to the quasi-sculptural process, a suit-clad Walsh performed a series of actions that both explicitly and covertly engaged with the winch, including operating the remote while struggling to hide himself underneath a tattered baroque-ish blanket.
While the roles of process and time in object making were evident in the piece, Walsh’s charmer preferred to magically summon art from the chosen materials and machinery. Is Walsh positing the artist as shaman? Perhaps not, but after his meditative and charismatic presentation, one couldn’t help feeling that the gallery attendees were the ones that were being deftly coaxed towards illusion over reality.
“Hot Pot Charmer: Day #3” was performed at Honor Fraser, Los Angeles on April 2, 2013.
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-Contributed by Eric Kim