Fact or Fiction at Osage Arts Community
A contemporary art show, in the middle of the rural countryside, in the middle of Missouri, in the middle of the Midwest, in the middle of the United States, that is sort of directing us to the middle, the core of fiction. However, this is also a fact. The recent exhibition Fact or Fiction at Osage Art Community takes place in the Middle Land.
Facts precisely are the container of fiction. Facts are stranger than fiction. The one feeds the other. The potential of our perception of the environment is infinite. Art and wonder come out of that, not from the belief that there is one and only one perception or truth. “Reality has much wider knowledge criteria than truth”, says science fiction writer Christopher Priest. Fact or Fiction has much to do with science and fiction, and their embedded dialogue.
Each in their own way, Brandon Anschultz, Michael Behle and Greg Edmondson are scientists. Anschultz and Behle are scientists in painting; Edmondson in drawing and biology. As artists, they reinvent the traditional parameters of their own fields and explore the possibilities of formalism. They hit us with visual facts, and they hit us with the belief that forms carry multiple meanings.
Belle, MO is surrounded by the Osage and Gasconade Rivers and is approximately 100 miles Southwest of Saint Louis.
The Mississippi and Missouri rivers cannot compete with the Gasconade and Osage rivers, which contain more catfish than any river on earth can contain.
Fact or Fiction features works by Brandon Anschultz, Michael Behle and Greg Edmondson, three prominent figures in the Saint Louis art community.
Fact or Fiction features works by three artists who hunt squirrels in their free time and study them in their laboratory. Their bond is that of a scientific romance.
Brandon Anschultz’s pieces challenge the notion of what painting is. Each sculpture, each painting, each chimera of painting and sculpture is made for the spectator to feel joy. The explosion of color relates, but does not compete with, the perfection and playful strangeness of shapes and assemblages.
Brandon Anschultz’s pieces are the inhabitants of a not yet known galaxy. Little beasts coming out of Dune’s Arrakis, painting machines on their labyrinthine pedestals. Jewels trying to solve riddles. We get our ticket on the planetary tour.
Michael Behle’s images wish they could talk to each other, even sleep together. The reality of painting, here, lies in its inner failure. The polyphony of medias makes us think that the purpose precisely is in the misunderstanding. The digital image finally sleeps with the painting, and the sense of grotesque and poetry eventually resolves the enigma.
And the painting says: “I might like it better if we slept together.”
And the digital image replies: “never say never”
Now we can enjoy our palmetto days.
Greg Edmondson creates a world out of his mechanical hand, and out of a drawing tradition. With his bodily scale, he confronts himself with other bodies – humans and nonhumans. Organic growth patterns and spirals of dots are infinite and yet cut in pieces. Fulfillment and frustration activate the metaphysical interstice.
Biologist and filmmaker Jean Painlevé awakens from his sleep and gets fascinated, once again, by the micro land that is macro land, the macro land that is micro land.
The scientific romance that connects the three artists to each other finds its roots in modernism, in its perceptions and study. The Middle Land is a space where the artists investigate with wonder their science further, connecting it to other fictions.