Allan Erdmann: Light and Sound
March 1st – August 30th, 2020
Allan Erdmann’s art shows a reference to Dada and its Readymade, nonsensical objects. In 1916 an international art movement known as Dada was born. The tenets of the movement included protesting “the establishment” which the art community believed marched the world toward the First World War. Marcel Duchamp was perhaps the best known of these protest artists who in defiance would take objects such as shovels, chocolate grinders, bathroom fixtures, and bottle drying racks and declare them works of art or “readymades”. In essence Duchamp chose to remove the functionality of these objects in declaring them works of art. He placed aesthetic values on objects that had little to offer artistically. In a way this exhibition of Allan Erdmann gives a gentle twist to Dadaism. His work may look seriously electronic and appear to have once been a part of perhaps the space program. Erdmann’s use of Dada”s conceptual positioning is seen in the earlier works that run on batteries or electricity. Erdmann is a complicated artist hidden behind nonsensical machines that are really about sense perception, conceptually framed. Erdmann’s art after 1969 enters a new vision. He begins to power the sculpture with solar cells exclusively. He is now aligned with the art environmentalists of the late 60’s and 70’s, and being concerned with the Art and Nature relationship in real time and space, he places the solar cell works outdoors. see a work on the 2″° floor beecher center stairwell that is currently being powered by sun light. Erdmann was a conceptual artist in terms of how he framed his work onto a vast time and space scale as evidenced in the titles of the solar cell works.
Dr. Louis Zona, Director
Ed Hallahan, Exhibitions
Allan Erdmann : Artist Statement
The major concern in my works is their dynamic communication rather than their static appearance. Their interrelationships with the sun, nature and the perceiver are extremely important to me. This situation can not truly happen in their present artificial environment, for it is to stiffly structured and lacks varied forces. This prevents the works from relating all that they can. That their acts are governed by nature’s systems is as I would prefer it, but I have set their limits.
These works seek to open an aspect of sculpture that has not been sufficiently probed in the past. That is; of the dynamic forms of nature working with the constructed dynamic art forms of man. In the past this action has been displayed as movement of an object. Though this is not entirely true, I can only think of a few exceptions, but they have not been called sculpture. For me this mechanical movement is no longer necessary, or ever desired. The works may now bring to the surface and synthesize phenomens our dulled senses no longer perceive and possibly a few things man never perceived. Though my works outputs are still simplistic, they will not always stay that way.
I can no longer think in the terms of the machine age. Science and technology have added extensions to my sensing. Systems are now displayed that I once could not even think of. This knowledge gain may not be the solution to many problems, but the status quo and ignorance promise destruction, while maintenance alone cannot halt the decay time imposes. So, I will build more difficult works and place them in the sun.
Allan Erdmann : Sun Sounds, Prophets and Detectors
Since 1967 the works have been concerned with systems, phenomena and time. The early works, with few exceptions were displays of the synthesis of these elements via musical sound in the form of sculpture. Solar Cells and light provided the energy and sound the description. Works became more complex and communicated among themselves with ultrasonic messages while continuing to play music. The Sun Dials that I have occasionally constructed, led me to astronomy and time, then myths of time, and then astronomical myths. My time scale went from seconds to thousands of years in both directions. The 1981 prophetic detector pieces, using modern technology started dealing with natural events occurring at some time in the future. The titles describe the happenings : “Magnetic Pole Chaos Dectector 3K A.D.”, “Storm Prophet : Electron Trap, Photon Release,” and “When Vega Makes a Small Circle, Summer is Winter.” The Vega event is definitely beyond the lifetime of the piece and the viewer.
The 1982 Art Detectors are judges. They seemingly perceive auras, nuances and nuances and emissions from the work they are aimed at, and produced computerized truth. Their pseudo science produces a pseudo truth. The “Art Oracle” is a detector which may be used to answer any question requiring a </b>Yes</b> or </b>No</b> answer. The “JungFreud” is especially sensitive at determining the sexual content in a work of art. The “Art Value Detector” detects, determines and ensures the high standards for the art in museums, exhibitions and private collections. Perhaps! The comparator’s range is from Metropolitan to K-Mart, and even M.F.A. These decision making pieces can be used separately or in conjunction to provide a more complete analysis. They contain word games, myths, and references to astronomy and art. Wheels may turn but the axis goes nowhere and the sky revolves with its wobble around its pole. The gun shoots the young virgin and the Sagittarius shoots Virgo. And the “Coffee Grinder” of Duchamp and the Great Mill of the Sky grinds all to dust.