. hello

Hello There Friend
Work selected and displayed by Harrell Fletcher

Primarily featuring drawings and writings by Jess Hilliard
But also including various little known work by:
Dana Dart-Mclean
Cleveland Leffler
Jimmy Miles
Andrew Li
And Kenneth Mrcoczek

April 12-May 10 2003

Hello There Friend
Notes by Harrell Fletcher

Another title that was tossed around was "Remember When We Used To Make Out." One way or another we were sort of after a touchy feelie type title, because that's the kind of show it is. We are of the type of artists who are not so interested in the cruelness of the art world, we are very sensitive and tender. We like to feel feelings and share thoughts. Actually I shouldn't be speaking for everyone. Maybe that's just me. But I'm the one that picked everything in the show. These people are friends of mine and, at least through their work, I would like them to become friends of yours. Curating a show is all about sharing as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes as an artist I think it is best to show someone else's art. I suppose I find showing my own work a little embarrassing somehow. Perhaps that's the reason I usually work with other people in some capacity. Collaboration waters down the embarrassment. Anyway on to the specifics of this show.

There are little numbers on the wall next to various sections. I will write some information here to correspond with the numbers.

1. The drawings and writings of Jess Hilliard inside plexiglass frame units. Jess and I met a very long time ago in Northern California. He has never gone to art school or even taken an art class. That's one of the many great things about Jess. He is working from very direct motivations. Perhaps there is an impulse to think that he is not for real, but I can tell you he is. Jess is always having strange experiences and having interesting thoughts. He likes to keep track of these things in the form of drawings and notes, and little stories. Currently Jess lives in a farmhouse in rural Ohio with his dog Merlin. He works night shifts at a diaper factory.

2. Jess and I made this video in my neighbourhood in Portland, OR. We had been going for walks and Jess had been picking stuff up off the ground and showing it to me in his hand, like a little surprise. We liked that a lot. It was a way of making the bits of trash special. So we decided to shoot a whole video of the activity. We went on I think four walks, all within about ten blocks of my house. Jess found the objects (over 700 of them) and I videotaped them by standing behind him and shooting over his shoulder. We would like to do this piece in other locations as a way of both doing work and getting to hang out together.

3. Three large semi-scientific looking drawings. These are collaborative drawings done by Jess Hilliard and Cleveland Leffler. They are part of a series of drawings about an idea they had to create earthquakes in California. They thought that it would be a good idea to just get the "big one" over with, while everyone knew it was coming. Somehow it involves cooking grease from fast food restaurants. They consulted a geologist and he told them that their idea was not entirely ridiculous, but so far there has been no implementation.

4. This small piece is by Cleveland Leffler. Cleveland lives in Arcata, CA and has been studying science for a long time. He makes these various little pieces with writing and sometimes smeary drawings too. I like this one a lot because it seems so hopeful about the pool and everything. There are some other drawings that Cleveland did in the backroom of the gallery in a folder. You can probably see them if you ask.

5. Two drawings and a car with keys by Andrew Li. Andrew is a wonderful man who I met at an art center for developmentally disabled adults in San Francisco. I've visited Andrew at his house where he lives with his parents. That's where he makes the cars and keys. The last time I checked there were about twenty of them. He makes them just from paper and tape and string and things like that. The cars are all based on real people's cars, with the correct licence plate numbers and everything.

6. Three drawings by Dana Dart-McLean. I think the first drawing was made while Dana was in High school. One thing that a lot of the artists in this show have in common is making their drawings on both sides of the paper. It can be frustrating when you like both drawings, but I think it is an indicator of not thinking so much about the possibility that the drawings should go in a gallery. That's more my idea. Dana has had a very interesting life beginning in Salem, OR with her hippy parents, going on to a couple of years in New York having difficulty fitting in at art school. A brief period of time was spent in a hospital recovering from what I like to think of as her high energy period, or what she and the medical community refer to as a manic episode. Now Dana is back in Oregon and has been trying to figure out how to make fashionable clothing for people in wheelchairs, etc.

7. Jimmy Miles drawings. Jimmy is another amazing artist from Creativity Explored the art center for developmentally disabled adults in San Francisco. Jimmy just makes incredible drawings. Sometime when I talk to him he gives me shivers up my spine, just something about his personality, it's hard to explain.

8. The many notes on scraps of paper of K-Mroczek, also a couple of what he calls "finished pieces" those are the bigger ones towards the top of the grouping. I met Kin Washington State a couple of years ago. I wasn't aware of his work at the time, but have since become very enamoured of it. They are mostly notes to himself, but I find that they apply to me and the rest of the world too. He has such a funny nice way of printing too.

9. Bookshelves of books. These are various one of a kind or small edition books by the artists in the show. Making books is another commonality that they all have, like drawing on both sides of a piece of paper (perfect for the pages of a book) and using odd pieces of paper and trash to make their art. They are a resourceful bunch. I personally love books. I think that books are possibly the best delivery device for art because you can take books to bed with you.

10. Circle of labels from various drink containers from Italy by Dana Dart-McLean. Dana made this while in Italy, I'm not exactly sure why but I like it a lot. So close to just being trash, and yet it's sort of beautiful.

11. Catalogues from past shows I have done. These are mostly self-explanatory.

12. Videos that I've made with other people. I'm running out of energy I don't think I can write anymore.

If you have questions ask Catherine or Christine, they are both very friendly and willing to explain things. Also ask them if you want to see more work from the artists in the show, because some things didn't fit in the gallery. There is more work hiding in various folders. And there are two very delicate amazing books in the back room, one by Dana Dart-McLean and one by Andrew Li. On your way out be sure to pick up a poster for the show, they are sitting on the radiator by the door. There are also a stack of The___Reports which is a free publication that I make which is being featured at a show at the Drawing Center right now. And one last thing go to www.learningtoloveyoumore.com so that you can participate in a project that I do with my friend Miranda July.

Thanks for coming to the show and reading all of this,

Harrell Fletcher