gar Galveston Artist Residency



Knock-off Oracle, Undecider's Anthem... And a Disaster, After  |  by David Snyder

Knock-off Oracle, Undecider's Anthem... And a Disaster, After | by David Snyder

August 27th, 2016 - November 5th, 2016

The image above is from a 2012 installation by David Snyder at the Hammer Museum for the exhibition "Made in LA".  David will be installing a site-specific installation in the GAR Gallery for his upcoming exhibition.

Knock-off Oracle, Undecider's Anthem... And a Disaster, After is a site-specific installation and video piece by David Snyder, curated by GAR in collaboration with Joshua Fischer, Rice Gallery. In addition, we will be showing David Snyder's 2016 video The Guano, where the simple and ridiculous question -- what if we turned defunct Blockbuster video stores into bat guano production factories? -- is answered.

David Snyder uses the word "kludge" to explain his approach to sculpture. Kludge, a term used by computer scientists and engineers, describes a poorly designed system of patchwork fixes and inelegant solutions.  Snyder's humorous work mixes earnestness and satire to explore a society often held together by such fixes. 

For Me TV, for the Hammer Museum's "Made in LA" (2012), Snyder created a home's façade caught in state of mid-collapse. Inside the home, a chaotic plywood scaffolding housed Snyder's cacophonous, homemade videos that parodied mass media. For his recent installation Porous, Poor us, Por us (2016), Snyder took objects found in the streets of Los Angeles and displayed them in a network of stucco shelves that snaked through the gallery as recordings from art auctions played. His installation at GAR will take on the "kludge" of our current political climate.

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To sugar-coat, to gloss over, to embellish, to fabricate.  Such structural and decorative ways of lying!  So many poor decisions made with “good intentions,” so many ornately sequenced strings of sentences, logical next steps that have led to one disaster or another.  And any given disaster denounced as such with hindsight or made exigent through ex post-facto rationale: Anyhow, someone had to do something. 

In short, never a moment’s peace from the endless tug-of-war of rhetoric: pro and con, for and against, us and them.  Easier to declaim in black and white, of course – binaries only, please, with 1s and 0s the currency of our current dialectic.  We’ve become so concerned with observing the propriety of accuracy that we fact-check casual conversations, seeking arbitration from a swipe or a click, objectivity from object itself, truth from lump in the pants pocket.

 But as with dice or scapulae or a Magic 8 ball, if you shake them enough, you’ll get what you want. We seek to find the answer just where we left it – in some sane, comfortable, and flattering place.  An easy-access “truth” is slippery and it is fugitive, built of ingratiating platitudes and the snake oil promise of nothing “real” but of something “better.” Rhetoric is surface, it is veneer; a curtain drawn tight about the shoddy mechanics of a bad decision waiting to happen. The choice between an inherited point of view and the uncertain slog through things as just they are - fragmentary, dissolute, and incoherent – is like the choice between spackle and scraper: peel the paint, every time.

- David Snyder


2521 Ships Mechanic Row, Galveston TX 77550