. a moment of doubt



Harrell Fletcher
A Moment of Doubt
April 30 - June 4 2004

I had just decided to start a list of all of the times and locations when I saw Richard Tuttle in NYC. I thought of it as something like a list that a bird watcher would keep - Tuttle even sounds like a bird name. Strangely, he and I seem to visit New York on the same occasions, though we had never met before. I always pictured him in New Mexico working away in his studio, but instead I would see him walking out of a strange store on Canal Street or he would appear and then disappear behind the doors of an elevator at Cooper Union - fleeting but beautiful, like an unusual bird slightly out of place in its environment. Just two days after I started my Tuttle list, while on my way to a meeting after going through various complicated transfers on the subway, I looked up and there he was walking straight towards me. He looked thoughtful and distant. I reached out and shook his hand, telling him how much I admired his work. He paused for a a second and then said how nice that was to hear my comment because he had just been having a moment of doubt. We talked a little longer then I got on my train and he continued on his way.

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The following pages describe the various parts of my exhibition, A Moment of Doubt, at Christine Burgin Gallery in New York City.

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A collection of wind chimes displayed in the trees in front of the gallery.
To the left is a picture of one of the trees before we hung the wind chimes. You will have to just imagine them there.


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A video of numerous babies in strollers found in various parts of New York City.
It's interesting to see all of the ways that the parents dress them up. Lisa Levine assisted me on this project (thanks Lisa). We gave show invitation cards to all of the parents so that they could come and see their baby in the video.


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An ongoing project where I shoot rolls of film but leave them
undeveloped and sell them that way.

The person who buys the roll of film can do whatever they want with it. They can get the film developed like normal snapshots and put them all in a photo album, they can get a contact sheet made and select one image to be enlarged and framed, or they can just leave the roll of film undeveloped. There's something really nice about shooting the pictures not knowing if anyone will ever see them.


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A collector's snapshot turned into a piece of art.
A collector commissions me to go to their house and look through their photo album with them. I select one of their snapshots, scan it, enlarge a particular detail, frame it, and display the new image as part of the show. Because the piece is a commission it would already be sold before the show opened. The picture shown is an example of what one of these pieces might look like, but actually it's a snapshot I took of my nephew Leo in his father's arms.


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A video about scars that I started making several years ago.
I shot the scars close up and had the people tell the stories of how they got them. Recently I added more scars and storeis to the video while doing some work at a county probation office in Portland, Oregon. It's an ongoing project, I can always add more scars to the video.


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Unofficial posters for the Whitney Biennial.
I happen to be in this year's Biennial, but there are so many people who were not included. I thought it would be nice to at least make posters for the show with images by some people who aren't actually in the Biennial, but whose work I really like. The artists I selected are Dana Dart-McLean, Jess Hilliard, Reca Averilla, k--mroczek, Lola Wegman, and Atlas Wegman.


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A free newspaper for the Whitney Biennial.
The publication features information about ten different artists who I know from around the country. I worked with a group of student volunteers from Cooper Union who found exhibition venues for the artist's work in various cafes, a furniture store, a library, a senior center, etc. The newspaper gives all of the exhibition information and also describes a project I did for Socrates Sculpture Park, as well as a long list of unused ideas, some of which I'm doing for the show at Christine's.


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Enlarged altered snapshots.
I've always collected found snapshots. At some point I started painting on them to highlight or edit out certain parts of the pictures. There's something strangely satisfying about doing that for me.