"I want to think this is all going to work out but like the guy says: 'nobody gets through this life alive.'"
My whole life we've been at war. We've been at war against Drugs; against Terror; against Crime. We've been at war for Oil; for Stability; for Capital. It's always someplace else, but it's also always present: a shadow slightly out of step. If it ever really goes off, we're all toast.
Perry Doane's Low in the Field is haunted by the specter of war: history, heraldry, futility, and death rendered mundane by sheer scale. The chemical-stained surfaces of small, ghostly photographs hover just at the edge of recognition. A diamond screen, corroded and clouded. Heavily processed, the work in Low in the Field carries touch, time, and memory in its surfaces. It's time spent with the ghosts—melancholy, perhaps, but also beautiful.
Perry Doane lives in Sonoma County. He enjoys exploring complex systems through his process-heavy multimedia practice. Transitions between hand and mechanical, and photographic and physical processes, direct a form of guided meditation. Perry has exhibited at escolar, Santa Rosa, CA; Ditch Projects, Eugene, OR; and Fourteen30 Contemporary, Carl & Sloan, and Rocks Box, Portland, OR. He holds an MFA in Studio Practice from Portland State University.
Labor is a Medium (LiaM) sprouted from several seeds, among them a simple thing my wife Emily and I referred to as "Pizza Club." Pizza Club was us making pizza for our friends, many of whom never knew they were being indoctrinated into our own secret society. LiaM took shape out of a desire to create a space for us—Emily and I—to connect to and build community here in Santa Rosa, a city we left for a decade and returned to in 2019. To do that, we offer up what we have: a little bit of space, a little bit of time, and food. The pizza is always free.
Launched in 2022, LiaM presents exhibitions by three artists per year. Each is invited to exhibit one work on a roughly 6'x7' free-standing wall in our garage. In inviting artists I try to make clear the limits and possibilities of this experiment, and I articulate that the definition of "a work" is, well, undefined. It might be in progress; plans and ideas; instructions; an empty space; a string tied to a katydid; something half-finished and abandoned. Primarily, I'm interested in exhibiting work that in some way demonstrates the process of its making; work that is concerned with the political through oblique pathways, through poetics, through speculation and association; and work that challenges capital in some way. Labor, itself, is a medium.
In inviting artists, I'm striving for a balance of artists local and from elsewhere, hoping to generate new connections among people and practices. I invite artists whose work I like and who I like as people, and who I think might, with luck, go along with this thing I'm trying to do, even if it is ill-defined—friends, in short. In any case, space, time, and food with friends seems like a good place to start.
In 2023, support for Labor is a Medium is provided by Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure Grant Program.