Pete Driessen/VisualArtist ©
May 11, 2009
Waseca ArtsCenter/Waseca Fleet ArtistStatement
Waseca Fleet installation at
the Waseca Arts Center continues my exploration of the ship form as a
metaphorical site of mystery and wonder.
The French philosopher Michel Foucault commented that “A ship is the
ultimate Heterotopia,” and is a theoretical “counter space” where one can
question our given culture and predominant conditions. The ship sails of the Waseca
Fleet present collaged imagery
that questions mediated current events within our visual culture, but also
combines it with historical, geographical, and socio-political and economic
images of Waseca and southern Minnesota. Growing up as a young boy in Waseca, the iconic visual
images of the famous Birdseye
plant and Herters Rice Patty Pancakes, Sleigh & Cutter Parade and Plowville USA, large water towers and church steeples,
traditional school and religious calendar, native and settler habitats, Wilton
Bridge and the agricultural
landscape all come to mind. The
garage style installation uses the ship structure as a foil and metaphor to
help understand our current societal problems and question our present human
Waseca Fleet is an
interdisciplinary installation built upon a singular tabletop/platform, and
placed on sawhorses with approximately 25 ships. The new fleet of ships resembles my recent Delirious
Drone, Dos Fridas and Dreamtime Resistance fleets and range in size from small
(6x6x4inches) to large (5x3x1 feet).
The individual fleets are color-coded and painted with a limited
palette. Each fleet is curated in
a size-based battle formation on a 4x8 foot wooden tabletop and sits on a set
of garage-style sawhorses. The
ships are created with “MacGyver”
working methods, guy-ish tools and found materials: recycled wood, dowels, unstretched canvas, Xerox paper,
frame molding, chopsticks, polyurethane, office products, house and acrylic
paint and gel mediums. The ships
are produced with childlike intent and garage style whimsy, and developed as a
materially raw class of boats that visually contain glue smears, ragged canvas,
paint smudges, and paper wrinkling as part of the final aesthetic product.
collaged images on the Waseca Fleet ships’ sails and cockpits have been taken from two key sources: the artists own photographs from the
city and area; and a plethora of
historical ephemera from past Waseca activities via the Waseca County
Historical Society. Images have
been appropriated from such material as
the 1967 Minnesota-Iowa Tornado magazine, the 1968 Waseca Centennial Official Brochure, Waseca High School yearbooks, and community
recipe cookbooks. The imagery
reflects a myriad of dichotomous symbols and codes within our present day
world. The fleet romantically
sails to reclaim our globe from demise, to plan and prepare its renewal and
sustainability, to deliver and distribute a cargo of peace, and to bring the
male centered world to justice.
The new Waseca Fleet
will be combined with other ship forms from my recent Delirious Drone, Dos Fridas and Dreamtime Resistance series and further 2D and 3D imagery as wall and installation
View Waseca Fleet, Ships, Collages, and Exhibitioon images on PeteDriessen.com.
Waseca County News Link.
Link to brief article/image in Waseca County News, June 2009.
Waseca Fleet in a Facebook album.
Waseca Fleet -Collages
Waseca Fleet Collages in a Facebook Album.