|Matt Freedman, Dead
Man's Hand, 2013|
In July 2012 Freedman learned that he had Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, a rare and slow growing cancer. Treatment entailed thirty-five days of radiation and weekly doses of chemotherapy over seven weeks. Just before treatment, a friend gave Matt a blank notebook and suggested he should fill it up. Matt did complete the therapy and the notebook as well. He said, “It seemed like it would in the end give me the last laugh over my cancer treatment.” This exhibition serves to extend Freedman’s experience of his treatment, the subject of the journal, into the six months that have now passed between the end of treatment and this exhibition’s opening.
All thirteen works take as their subject bad luck. This idea is embodied in Freedman’s iconic constructions that portray folk admonitions. These signs seek to control bad luck by taking such precautions such as avoiding walking under ladders or opening umbrellas indoors. Another significant component of the show is the notion of disability. Freedman continues to feel side effects from his treatment as well as from the drugs he takes to quell those effects. Though functioning effectively, the fact that he should not drive because the narcotics would render him technically “under the influence” is for Freedman an objective marker of what he feels and knows to be true: He is not himself or at his best.
The idea of disability is communicated by hand written signs of explanation, which function as the conceptual framework for the exhibition. Freedman’s sign details the reasons for the restrictions he placed upon himself for the creation of the work: each work consists of totally “de-skilled” labor. He collected objects either from the street; broken umbrellas and cigarette stubs, or from his house and studio; A couch, a collection of pennies. He also allowed himself to use components from previous work repurposed for the show.
The Devil Tricked Me is on view from 05.10.13 -- 06.16.13.
56 Bogart Street