GNU Gallery: Finding Art Amongst Destruction

By: Amy Schakel
Can beauty be created through destruction? Brett Schreiber has set out on a quest to answer this question. On June 15th, about 20 to 30 people gathered at the GNU Gallery in Old Town to destroy musical instruments as the first installment of his project called “Our Thoughts are Objects.” The goal of this is simple, to create something beautiful and new through making as big of a mess as possible.
“The destructive part had to be ultra-violent and destructive in order to give a stark contrast to what comes out of it” Schreiber says on a journey to the gallery to see the aftermath. With instruments that had first been dipped in blood red paint then smashed against a concrete wall, the place looked like a slaughter house.
Schreiber recognizes that what he is doing is nothing new, however he hopes that audience involvement will generate a new sort of experience for everyone. The audience wasn’t given any direction on how or what to do with the instruments before anything began. At first there was timidity but then that broke into excitedness and an utter mess. About only ten people actually smashed the dripping instruments on the wall, but both participants and onlookers enjoyed themselves.
Now it is up to Schreiber to turn the chaos into something new. He plans on taking the audio and video recordings of the demolition, break it even farther apart and build it into a new experience. He will also turn the room into something else by adding burnt sheet music and a display of the broken instruments.  All comes together as a puzzle piece to accentuate the splatter on the gallery walls. Ultimately it will be a fully encompassing environment that the audience not only can look at, but also be a part of.
The unveiling of the full creation will be on July 6th at the GNU Gallery.

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