Messes Messes Messes by Gretchen Phillips

November 5th- 22nd 2015

Opening reception November 14th 3- 7pm. 

Gretchen's musings on "Messes"- How do we respond when we see inside things splayed outside?  For example: feelings that are supposed to be kept to ourselves, or perhaps mattresses on the street?  How do we respond when we enter someone's home and it's a mess, messier than our own?  Do we have judgments?  Do we want to clean up this mess?  Or do we want to escape quickly before we're asked to clean up this mess?  What if it's a pile of stuff that's just been dumped in public, like, "Here, I've pulled this crap out from inside, now you deal with it.  I simply can not deal anymore."  When I see a mattress in the rain placed next to an insufficiently small waste bin, I think, "This is as far as they could interact with this unwanted thing." 

            A hot dog dropped and left on the floor of the Ikea elevator is somewhat amusing.  Homes and hotels in former Yugoslavia bombed and ransacked and left to the elements as reminders that people can be so cruel to each other are not.

            My father was a hoarder and my mother is a neat freak.  Both of those compulsions live inside me.  If I want to clean up my messes I need to take the time to actually sift thru their contents, feel the feelings that seeing the objects elicit, and discard what's no longer useful.  Ideally I do this with another person present so that I needn't feel totally alone with what a hot mess I am.

            Ultimately I find it comforting to see how messy and imperfect people are.  It's like, You mean it's not just me?