Smack Mellon is pleased to present Jarrod Beck’s text, collaborative performances, and astounding site-specific installation, The Moon. For the duration of the exhibition, a 60-foot-diameter, handmade paper moon will hover over the gallery floor and reach upward into the coal trough ceiling infrastructure.
The Moon began as an epic poem, begun in the summer of 2014. Themes include environmental devastation, the AIDS epidemic, and queer collectivist anarchism. During this exhibition, The Moon will also live as a massive sculpture, the site for readings from the original text, and the context for a series of dance performances in collaboration with choreographers Abigail Levine and Danny Dolan. Together, the sculpture, text, and performances form a complete constellation.
As a sculpture, The Moon is a giant sphere of cast abaca paper pulp whose shape dissolves as you walk around it. Juxtaposed with Smack Mellon’s looming concrete and steel, the textured moon crust appears simultaneously at home in the space—perhaps growing from the industrial infrastructure—and wholly trapped, seeming fragile and compromised. The Moon text is a narrative describing the day the earth stops orbiting around the sun and begins to revolve around the moon (the book will be available beginning February 1, 2017). As performances, the piece exists in two forms: as a movement and sound collaboration with sculpture’s physical geometry, and as a deeper exploration into the text, giving dancers (in the roles of queer anarchist-geo-archeologists) an opportunity to study the moon and unpeel it, layer by layer.
“My works are about making a mark, putting a foot down. They are about being here, but not trusting that space, and they are about the projected and the imagined, a HEREAWAYFROMHERE.” –Jarrod Beck
Jarrod Beck has created installations for Socrates Sculpture Park, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Wave Hill, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Siena Art Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Stony Brook University, and Provincetown Art Association and Museum. In 2011, his play Manhattan Man, His Sleeping Wife was performed at the Instituto Cervantes in New York amidst his installation Duende. Beck occupied the Cape Cod National Seashore in 2012 with the first in a series of processions and installations called Cinerum. In 2014, The Anti-Defamation League commissioned Broken Open in Omaha, Nebraska, and Beck won the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award for Uplift. In 2016, a monograph about his project, Balance, hosted by The US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, was published by FAU Editions. His drawings are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Beck's recent collaborations include a series of prints and a score for sculpture created with the choreographer Will Rawls, an installation for performance artist John Kelly's Love of a Poet, and a series of prop-sculptures for the choreographer Jon Kinzel. In has been a visiting artist at Dieu Donné Papermill and UrbanGlass. Beck received his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin and his Master of Architecture from Tulane University. He currently lives and works in Ulster County, NY.
A special thank you to the generosity of 160 supporters through Kickstarter that made The Moon possible!