Buzz Spector & Mary Jo Bang

About the Author #2 by Buzz Spector
About the Author #2 by Buzz Spector
collaged dust jackets; 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, St. Louis


“Otherwise”: Mary Jo Bang & Buzz Spector

at Beverly in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
18 January-8 February 2014

“Otherwise” is a two-person exhibition of assemblage-based work by acclaimed St. Louis-based artists and writers Mary Jo Bang and Buzz Spector.

Other people are interested in this exhibition statement. It is not for myself or you or the artists involved, but a vast expanse of others. These others have perfectly round faces with small circular holes for eyes and mouths. Some of them are buried in the ground up to their necks. A strong breeze blows, and they roll away to reveal an empty clearing. Otherwise, your view would be obscured. Otherwise is a contingent colloquialism. Otherwise is a combine composed of two familiar parts: “other” and “wise.” Think about it.

Mary Jo Bang is a celebrated poet who, for most of her life, has secretly made artwork. Buzz Spector is a celebrated artist who, for most of his life, has secretly written poetry. Both of their secret practices often trade in cutting things up that signify otherwise–other selves, other personas, other disorders or other people’s terms. Images become language and language a tangle of many fragmentary lines. Assemblage is the operative medium for its capacity to craft vocabularies: a vocabulary of collective fragments, for instance, that remember other ways of being, and together may piece together new syntaxes.

Mary Jo Bang’s artworks are all self-portraits, but anyone would be lying if they said they physically resembled her. Buzz Spector’s artworks often utilize portraits of authors in a criminologist-like pursuit of the physiognomy of the authorial impulse.

Who is other and who is true? Mouths gape, and no sound emits. Arms are bound, so failure could await. Otherwise, it’s all an ecstatic pleasure.

(adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


at Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts
3155 Cherokee Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63118 USA

Thursday & Saturday, Noon-4PM
and by appointment