Q & A with 2015 Paper Variables Artist Brock Enright

Dieu Donné
Jul 6, 2015 4:59PM

200-year-old Ouija Boards from the bottom of the ocean

Brock Enright working with Artistic Director Paul Wong in the Dieu Donné wet studio, Spring 2015.

Brock Enright created out there, a cast paper bas relief based on the classic Ouija talking board. Enright worked collaboratively with Artistic Director Paul Wong to hand paint 35 individual board backgrounds with pigmented linen paper pulp. Each edition is accompanied by a cotton ‘oracle’ or planchette based on the device for maneuvering around the board to answer questions or spell words. 

 Select works from this series and Gina Beavers's edition Ombre Lip Tutorial will be on view in the Paper Variables exhibition at Dieu Donné through July 18. Contact Bridget Donlon for more information or to subscribe. 

Q & A with Brock Enright 

Why was paper the right material for this project? What did you think of the outcome? 

I am very happy with the outcome of the use of paper. It gave it the feeling I wanted, which was to feel like they were found at the bottom of a lake or an ocean. The paper gave it this 200 hundred year old water logged look. 

Are Ouija boards fun or scary? Do you remember when or why first got interested in them? 

Ouija boards to me can be fun and scary, or at least their reputation can be. I use the image as a concept of belief hoping to raise questions to re-examine existence of things, thoughts, and us, "humans". 

What is your personal collection of Ouija boards like - can you tell us about a couple of them? How many do you have, where do you get them from, and what would make your collection complete?

I have many types but most of them are based off of the "Talking Board". I used the internet to find them. I've been given them as gifts, and also on my travels. I dont have a favorite one, because it depends on my mood or what I'm into at the time. But recently, I like my pink one that is marketed towards girls. It comes with cards that ask questions, such as "will he ask me out". It's very telling of our cultural times. 

Have you ever been able to contact any interesting spirits?

There is alway contact. 

Who would you hope to be able to have a conversation with? My past self and future self.

About the Artist: Brock Enright was born in Norfolk, VA, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Enright has held solo shows at Kate Werble Gallery, NY; White Flag Projects, St. Louis, MO; Vilma Gold Gallery, London, UK. His work has been exhibited at venues including MoMA PS1, NY; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, MA; and Royal Academy of Art, London. Enright is the subject of a 2009 feature length documentary titled Good Times Will Never Be The Same. Brock Enright is represented by Kate Werble Gallery in New York. 

About Paper Variables: Paper Variables is an opportunity to collect art by renowned contemporary artists at an affordable price while making an important contribution to the creation of new work in handmade paper. Paper Variables projects incorporate the unique “wet studio” processes that are available to artists at Dieu Donné. Embracing the egalitarian spirit of the traditional edition, this artist-driven series produces new works in collaboration with our studio staff, featuring unique touches of the artist’s hand. Each year, artists work in collaboration with our studio staff to create dynamic new works for this series. Proceeds help to support the residency and exhibition programs at Dieu Donné. The 2015 Paper Variables artists are Gina Beavers and Brock Enright. 

About Dieu Donné: Dieu Donné is a non-profit contemporary artist workspace dedicated to the creation, promotion, and preservation of new art made using hand papermaking techniques. The organization’s primary services and programs are devoted to working with mid-career and emerging artists through collaborative residency opportunities.The Dieu Donné gallery is open to the public Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 6pm and Saturday 12 - 6pm or by appointment.

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