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Bruce Burris: We Will Someday, Someday We Will
January 14 - February 20, 2010
We Will Someday, Someday We Will. It might be tomorrow, the day after or even next week, but we will. Someday we will. Our lives are full of daily resolutions to improve ourselves and the way we live. The majority of these resolutions are put off indefinitely with the ever-comforting “someday.” But there is work to be done, and the indefinite future has to come about someday.
Bruce Burris’ exhibition at Institute 193 was an amalgam of sculpture, drawing, painting and installation work all crammed into our 350-square-foot gallery. In a way, it was the perfect space to explore Burris’ vision, which was constructed using colorful bursts of information, text and image. The pieces supported one another as building blocks of the artist’s larger vision. The subjects of mountaintop removal, community dynamics and protest are dynamic issues that are quick to evoke heated discussion, especially in the state of Kentucky. Burris handled these delicate issues with essential humor and whimsy, but was never dismissive of their power to divide.
This exhibition represented a certain kind of expansive potential for Burris’ work. Each of the works contained within these pages was designed to grow. They are not the products of short-term vision but well-polished models intended for larger installations and bodies of work. The Lonely Mountain Community Center has a never-ending energy that allows it to alter its scale, content and aesthetic at will. The cultural ephemera being created by the Stoner Creek Boys can continue to evolve into an infinite number of physical incantations, further adding to their myth. The Mountain Top Removal Protestors can grow into a full-fledged army of opposition, fighting for their cause in large numbers. Their armed opposition will obviously augment their own forces in response. We Will Someday, Someday We Will was full of potential energy and challenged all of us to engage with our larger community and become a part of the ongoing debates that shape our future. Someday is not as far off as it seems.
Bruce Burris, Are Ye One With Stoner Creek (detail), 2007-09, Mixed Media on paper, 89 x 112 inches.
Bruce Burris, We Will Someday, Someday We Will, 2009, Mixed Media, 19x17x13 inches
Bruce Burris, Lonely Mountain Community Center, 2008-9, Mixed Media, 72 x 96 inches.