Environmental Services, Busy Hands Are Happy Hands, 2013. Single-channel video, 51:40 min. Courtesy DODGEgallery and the artist
Environmental Services’s single-channel video Busy Hands are Happy Hands depicts ES owner/operator Doug Weathersby sawing, gluing, nailing, and installing work for his exhibition “What is Yours is Mine.”
In the piece, Weathersby utilizes materials recovered from seven studio visits with artists who have previously exhibited at DODGE. These cast-offs include debris as well as what failed during the creation of the exhibition. These items represent a source of untapped capital within the arts. Weathersby also plays with the notion of authorship: the final products are comprised of the materials and practice of another artist, modified by Weathersby. Appropriation and authorship are heavily churned concepts in contemporary art. Weathersby, however, employs true collaboration, receiving chosen materials from another artist, rather than commandeering.
Busy Hands are Happy Hands is on view in DODGE’s Gallery Number Two from Wednesday May 1 through Saturday May 4 during gallery hours.