Sunday, September 27, 2009

Midway's Secret Life of Objects: Commentary on "You Got What You Deserved" by Jack Pierson

At first glance, the piece by Jack Pierso, which is titled "You Got What You Deserved", seems like the last thing one might set there eyes upon in one of the rooms at Midway Contemporary Art's current gallery exhibition The Secret Life of Objects but in fact it was the one piece that intrigued me first and most. It hardly seems that it should have caught my attention upon entering the room. The frame is one the wall where you enter the room from but it is not the art immediately in front of you, nor the brightest, nor the biggest. It is a 14"x11" piece of paper that has the words "you got what you deserved"; a line then separates the page with a hard graphite line, and underneath the words "right off Hollywood Blvd." How could this not make you stop and think and then pause and then perhaps reconsider what you originally thought in the first place.
For some reason, when I read those words I felt threatened as the viewer. Nobody wrote that note to me, I was just standing in front of this piece of paper with two phrases written in different styles in graphite separated by a single thin line. It made me wonder who originally this note was written for. When we were taking a tour of the gallery, after inquiring about "You Got What You Deserved," it so happens that Jack Pierson used an actual note that he had found on Hollywood Blvd. and went on to do a whole series on notes and scraps of paper that he found off Hollywood Blvd. When I had that in the back of my head, I wondered what the story was behind this threatening note. Who got what they deserved off of Hollywood Blvd? Who was this meant for? And what did they do? Of course, I also considered the fact that anybody could have picked up a note on Hollywood Blvd. and read the words "you got what you deserved" and realized they did have it coming. Perhaps that is what Jack Pierson thought.

***They did not have an image of this piece on the website, so I did my own imitation of it.

1 comment:

  1. FIRST - Extra point for re-creating the art - which is great practice for the book art project.

    About the writing – You bring us through your experience of learning and understanding about the work without instant judgment. The “I” that you refer to – by leaving the judgment element out of the work – the viewer is coming along with you – rather than being subjugated to your opinion. Descriptive, thoughtful, intelligent, and explorative. I love how you end with questions for not only yourself but also the audience reading this. You could really make a career out of this some day. Great work Bernadette!