chris beards sculpture

One Another One statement

I've come to realize this: I don't understand anyone. In some ways, this has really simplified my life.

Multiples, repetitions, patterns - sometimes the repeated each is where my thoughts are, in other works the obsessive process is. There is plain human labor in the creation of most of this work, of spending hours on a self-imposed assembly line repeating a simple task over and over.

This body of work is an attempt at making sense through organizational methods. Structure, context, and meaning are created and explored through experiments with organized patterns and repetition in a variety of media. I organize a finite amount of similar items to create a unified concept. I gather a group and try to create one voice for it.

As members of a consumer society, we are awash in options, variety, and novelty. Niche markets call alluringly for our dollar you are what you buy. Pointless, time-consuming choices reinforce our desire to be unique, thus creating markets for the illusion of specialness. A proliferation of sameness is disguised through changing the surface and then marketing it as something New. I feel like I can't keep up, and worse, sometimes I don't care. Yet, the human animal is a social animal and looks to others for validation. As a human animal I am immersed in this consumer culture so I am in the game too.

I find myself overwhelmed by too many choices and have deliberately made a decision to simplify my materials and processes in an ultimately futile action to remain in control and not become distracted by the trivial. The world can be mined for sculptural media - the possibilities are endless - I could easily become distracted and lost in this alone. By consciously limiting myself to repetition I am liberated to explore and experiment within the constraints of my self-imposed restrictions.

We are each One, yet meaning is reached through interaction with Another.
One is special - singular, unique, worthy of attention.
Another splits the attention by half, yet reaffirms the singular nature of One.
A hundred is a group where One is lost among the similar,
which calls attention to the basic nature of One.
Multiples become the grouping, which focuses on One.
One added to Another to become Another One.
If Another One is added to One the result is Another One.
One Another identifies each, Another One adds to it.


General Statement

I have become particularly aware of 'multiples', items of more than one. I combine these items into a larger whole. New connections and relationships are discovered in this process. Linked, strung, hung, stapled, tied together - there is an obsessive nature to the making of this current body of work. Actions are repeated dozens, sometimes hundreds, even thousands, of times. I find something very basic in the patterned repetition of forms and actions.

Patterns, repeating and non-repeating, bear a significant weight in my recent work. Patterns reassure us in an expectation of continuity and changelessness. This expectation is frustrated by non-repeating patterns. Somewhere I read that randomness is just part of an larger overall pattern which we are unable to perceive. Elsewhere I have read that the universe is not a steady clock, ticking away towards the future, but rather more of a froth of potential possibilities. I find it intriguing that everything has multiple possibilities and reality is a state of flux.

The formal organization of the work is the simple logic of the machine. I find a warm reassurance and subversive humor from the hand-made mimicking the machine-made. The machine-made has a spare and logical elegance of form which I admire and emulate. Extraneous gestures and flights of fancy are reduced (but not eliminated) to allow a simplicity to shine through. This is in conscious rejection of our ever-increasingly cluttered bells & whistles culture in which we are drowning in options.