Nayland Blake takes over Matthew Marks’ 22nd Street exhibition space with humorous assemblage and found-object sculptures. The small presentation, reveals Blake’s interest in crafting a narrative through overlooked objects and subversive content. Blake searches for discarded identities and brings them to the forefront of his work. What Wont Wreng is on view through April 20th 2013 at Matthew Marks, 502 West 22nd Street, New York. Photo and text Juliana Balestin 

Production Still from Hare Follies 1997 presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

From a commissioned performance.  This is a moment from the middle section, called “Blood” which used dialog from a number of sources including “Blacula”.  I’m performing with Patricia Hoffbauer, and designed the sets and costumes. 

In truth this whole piece was a tribute to/rip off of Richard Foreman’s plays, and Kathy Acker’s novels. The script is a collaged text that attempts to talk about the realities of race and desire by stitching together stuff like “The Turner Diaries” and lyrics from Yellowman.  

Subordinate Clauses 1991 bird’s nests, aluminum, steel and wood. dimensions variable

Made this in the frenzy of work around the 90-91 period.  In part I was transitioning out of my restraint pieces and into the bouquet pieces that used much more delicate materials. Looking at this now I feel like it takes a lot from Jannis Kounellis.  One of the small group of pieces I showed at Mary Boone’s gallery in ‘91. 

Untitled 1983 charcoal on paper 40” x 60”

I made this while in grad school at CalArts.  It was boen out of frustration, mostly. Sexual of course, but also I was wrestling with the problems of how to make work that was identifiably “gay” and yet made sense to me as being about something else. I was trying to pack way too much into each piece, and CalArts was not the right school for anyone who was over thinking every last thing they were making.  It was quite some time before I could figure out a way of adressing all of the aspects of my personal experience.

I still think armpits are hot, however.

o.w. 1989 neon 12” x 8”

Showed this at Mincher/Wilcox gallery in San Francisco.  I made a few neon pieces around that time. I remember liking the idea of an angry little “ow” down in the corner of the room: quiet but radiating hurt.  It’s also Oscar Wilde’s initials.