Sometimes magic is elusive. In the dark, in a large crowded storage space with one hanging light bulb: the realm of shadows and highlights, everything is sculpted of wonder. A broken down car dreams of the morning sky. An old-fashioned white porcelain bathtub with rusted scars, broken furniture, a collection of rocks in little cloth bags hanging from a beam, yellowing slides and photos from the old days stowed in a corroded file cabinet … the air tempered with repeated phrases of Prokofiev that my mother is practising on the piano in the distant living room … This was the garage of my childhood, where my visits were frequent in search of all manner of treasures to furnish the little cities I was building in the garden.
Thus Haveit Neox introduces Elastic Garage, his installation now open at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s ArtSpace. And indeed, on entering the exhibition area, visitors are confronted with the bric-a-brac which might have been gathered over time, and cherished, before being put away in the garage of the mind.
Filing boxes lay stacked against the walls, a child’s old railway track lies on the floor, cabinets and boxes scattered around, the bath toppled on its side and the broken-down car parked to one side. Memories from childhood scattered around, spiders and their cobwebs covering some. but so is there more: memories of art builds, fragmented and scattered among the bric-a-brac.
Sitting atop some of the filing boxes, for example, is a telescope. While this may well be a childhood memory, it might also be a reflection of Haveit’s Paper Observatory, first unveiled in 2014, and the successor to his Paper Tower. On the floor by the bodywork of the old car sits a tiny city, streams of cars rolling away from it over elevated roads; a reflection, perhaps of Haveit’s Miniature Goal and his wider concern for the environment. Inside the cabinets and upright boxes, partially hidden and awaiting discovery – just like memories in a draw or cupboard of a garage – are paintings and images, again perhaps echoing past installations Haveit has presented in-world.
Elastic Garage is a both an expression of art and of memory; personal elements from life mixed with personal expressions of life. It makes for a fascinating visit, and will remain open through September and into October.
- The Elastic Garage (UTSA TejanoTech, rated: Moderate)