Archived Exhibition

Style as Substance: Michael Berryhill, Rachael Milton, Eric Veit

Michael Berryhill; Doo-et, 2012; oil on linen; 14 x 14 in.

Fri, Apr 5, 2013 → Sat, May 11, 2013

Michael Berryhill, Rachael Milton and Eric Veit

Co-Curated by Rachel LaBine and Keith J. Varadi, Style as Substance is inspired by a road trip, some unlikely encounters and an unfinished play.

“Reverse chalk outlines for geriatric psychiatrics, because they took their vitamins and believed in an eighth wonder; walk it off, walk around, Mr. Poet and Ms. Artist.”

– The Northeaster

“A glazed sidewalk, a burned tie-dye brain rod, intercontinental death fantasies, and an urn for new beginnings.”

– The Girl From The North Country

“Repurposed past slid onto surfaces like butter on toast. Isn’t it amazing how anything can glow?”

– The Texan

(Excerpts from the yet-to-be-completed play, Style As Substance)

Synopsis of the play, Style as Substance:

An artist and a poet take a road trip from New York City to Houston. Along the way, they meet many novel individuals. Before they even leave New York, a Kentucky transplant trying to become an actress emphatically shares her cat troubles, a Rastifarian from New Jersey tries to sell them the rest of her marijuana and a chef from Pennsylvania explains to them the history of the Mennonites and why Classical Art still matters.

While momentarily broken down in Philadelphia, they meet the first of three other artists. The Northeaster feeds them and changes their oil. The poet pays The Northeaster with a poem. Next, they meet a Midwestern girl and she gives them a case of CD’s to listen to on the rest of their journey. The artist pays her with some fruit from the Northeaster. When they are almost in Houston, they meet a curly-mustached cowboy from Austin, who gives them each a bottle of Lone Star to celebrate their arrival in “the biggest nation in the country.” With each encounter, their understanding of American landscape and culture becomes more muddled, leaving them to question the difference between style and substance.

Upon returning home, they decided to write a play about their adventures and call it Style As Substance.

David Shelton and Shane Tolbert got their hands on a copy of the script, and this is the exhibition based on the play.

Style As Substance, as recited by The Poet

White head secrets within

A hurdled griddled man

Landlocked up with zipped lips

Cracking up cracking eggs

On the scorched and deserted lot

Of the formerly flooded Texaco

Down by the border of yes and no

Your money is as good here

As it is anywhere says Art

Idealism is international

Is a phrase that he once said

At a dinner party post-opening

And now he e-mails in German

Whenever he talks about Art

Back-and-forth air mail

Like fashion forward tramps

Playing double entendres

At the U.S. Open on Telemundo

Closed Captioned in real life too

But is there any style to him

Says the lined up fine point

Letters hugged in dark irony

¿Que? K! ¿Que? K! Okay

Let me tell you what I’m gonna do

Says the lady in the Mars Black dress

I’m gonna grid out your life

I’m gonna show you your signs

Enacted in all their glory

The way that manufactured stars

Would have seen them in past lives

Close your eyes and bend over

So as to touch your toes

To the cold rabble rubble

And then take your fingers

And stroke the overgrown hairs

Of this state of being you have

And have refused to accept

Think about your misaligned

And malignant self-diagnoses

You have cradled structure

Yet you still have none

You have laid low and leaned on

Yet you still can’t hold up

Any argument you put forth

¿Que? K! ¿Que? K! Okay

Wait am I still watching Telemundo

No you are watching me okay

Okay so then now what

Now stand up then lie down

Okay so then now what

Now strip down to nothing

Okay so then now what

Now look up to the sky

And tell me what you see

I see Independence Day

Painted by Vija Celmins

Directed by Steven Spielberg

And hung in the living room

Of my brand new apartment

And I want to get dressed now

Okay so then get dressed

Wait these aren’t my clothes

Michael Berryhill; Doo-et, 2012; oil on linen; 14 x 14 in.
Michael Berryhill; Bird Dream, 2011; oil on linen; 24 x 24 in.
Michael Berryhill; Uggle Duggle, 2011; oil on linen; 20 x 18 in.
Michael Berryhill; Mantis, 2011; oil on linen; 20 x 18 in.
Rachael Milton; Hanamaru Kindergarten Redux, 2012; inkjet print; 14 x 10 in.
Rachael Milton; Instructional Vase, 2013; inkjet print; 20 x 16.5 in.
Rachael Milton; Tablet, 2013; concrete and ceramic; 10 x 9.5 in.
Eric Veit; Bananas, 2012; inkjet print; 9 x 12 in.; ed. of 2