Seldom are the advantages of a home-based art space so obvious as in the case of "A Good Way to Learn, Lesson 4: Chores (Content Clean)"; it's performance art in the guise of mundane household chores, or mundane household chores in the guise of art. Either way, the piece comes down to the artist, who goes by JRC, cleaning house, and it is difficult to capture the honesty -- the tedium -- of the process in the track lighting of an austere, white-walled contemporary gallery. Imagine the elaborate installation that could accommodate such a performance; afterward, it would only be dismantled. But in Treehouse 29, the functional household-cum-experimental art space where "Chores" will take place, the performance will do more than advance the cause of conceptual art. It will accomplish something actually useful.
"Chores" is one of several displays that, on Friday, August 31, will inaugurate Treehouse 29's second season. Occupied by owners Joyce Levin and Amy Neuenschwander, the gallery affords exhibition space to painters, photographers, musicians and the miscellaneously creative. Openings are conducted on the last Friday of every month; the August show will feature works by visual and "soundscape" artists as well as the videotaped "Chores" performance.
"We like to have just a broad variety of stuff going on," says Levin. "We try to never tell anyone no, because we're experimental."
"A lot of people knock the idea behind a home-based art space, but if not for Joyce and Amy, I wouldn't have an outlet for a site-specific piece like 'Chores,'" says JRC (pronounced "Jason"), who, as part of his "A Good Way to Learn" series, numbered the tiles in a men's rest room and wrote "I will be a good boy" repeatedly until he passed out.
"I take themes from childhood and explore them in a more analytical light," he says.
He also vacuums.