Hold'n It Down
San Francisco, CA 94107
PLAySPACE will present a short and brutal set by Bay Area band
Nuclear Death Wish starting at 8pm. In the collaborative spirit of
Short’s installation currently on view at PLAySPACE, his partnerships
will now extend to the performative – a visceral experience not to be
Josh Short, a self-proclaimed “maximist”, has built up a wild and rollicking installation in PLAySPACE for the gallery’s inaugural exhibition. Hold’n it Down features a motorcycle crafted out of cardboard, a pirate radio station, and a fortress replete with rat hunting device, a drawbridge - even a LA-Z Boy fashioned into a (non-functioning) toilet. “Stronghold”, a two-story structure created for the space, represents the survivalist culture that is at the heart of all of Short’s work: how limited means forces creative thinking and, ultimately, solutions. All of the components of Stronghold were found on the streets and in dumpsters and were repurposed by Short and his collaborator Joel Dean Stockdill. There was no direct currency exchange; the goal is to keep this aspect of their creative practice as minimal as possible.
In light of our generation’s recent economic crisis, it isn’t difficult to imagine (or even to personally reference) employing alternative means to support our lifestyles. Sure, these harsh realities can feel hellish at times, but there’s fun to be had. In the visionary, post-apocalyptic universe that Short has created, the detritus of our culture becomes the material for something else. “Stronghold” offers a kind of second-hand utopia – a respite that’s still rough around the edges. His work is highly interactive, often mechanized and made of cardboard. While Short’s work is tied to the grunge of garage culture, and ideas of American masculine creativity, in Hold’n it Down the boys club is split open and turned on its head for everyone to enjoy.
Josh Short received his MFA from UC Davis in 2009, and was a 2010 Headlands Center for the Arts resident. His next solo exhibition will be held at San Francisco’s Soap Gallery in Spring 2011.