Horace Hobbs and Matthew Whitenack

September 5 – October 5     2013

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For SLABS a landline telephone and a piano were installed  in the gallery.  From Sep. 5thto Oct. 5th, Houston native, now Brooklyn resident, Horace Hobbs III made and received phone calls during gallery hours.  These conversations were tapped and recorded, chopped and screwed.  For the second element of the show, the sentence fragment “Block, Pillar, Slab, Beam, Conceive this as a Complete Primitive Language” was scrawled down the side of an adjacent vacant building.

When words sit in inactive piles they are like the useless and vacant cinderblock shells of halted building projects.  When words are strung into stylish lines, are rapped or sung, transformed into shiny seductive vehicles that deliver things deeply felt they are like well-built gallery spaces – containers of art.

SLABS’ referents range widely from Wittgenstein’s description, in Philosophical Investigations, of the utterance “slab!” as a basic building block of primitive language to Texas rap culture’s acronym Slow Low And Bangin’, to Dave Hickey’s glorification of subtle car cultural sensibilities in his essay The Birth of the Big, Beautiful Art Market.  

Utilizing the medium of lines: physical phone connectors, chains of recorded words, and scrawled texts, this project reflects the dichotomous nature of its location and proposes the subversive artistic stylization of its components.  The lived-in vibrancy of an apartment-gallery space adjacent to an abandoned residential building project mirrors the discrepancy between the lowly, stone-dead utterance “slab!” and the lapidary chiseling of a polished verse that slides along like a SLAB and feels more like listening to music than reading Wittgenstein at length.

LINK to Horace’s website =>