Artists, Galleries & Museums

Ending May 12th: “Reclaimed Empire / The Unseen Obelisk” at GAR

On Exhibit at Galveston Artist Residency:

Ending May 12th, “Reclaimed Empire / The Unseen Obelisk” by Adam Putnam

The Galveston Artist Residency (GAR) Gallery is showing the exhibit “Reclaimed Empire/The Unseen Obelisk” by Adam Putnam through May 12th.

The exhibition features a series of short films, titled “Reclaimed Empire (Deep Edit)” that Adam Putnam has been working on for the past ten years.

Also on view will be a site-specific installation created specifically for the GAR gallery. While the films and sculptural installation exist as discrete works, the one constantly references the other.

From Adam Putnam, “…spaces once constructed for performance, have now been evacuated and have taken on a presence all their own. Architectural interiors become stand-ins for a metaphorical interiority once represented by my body. In the years since, my work has maintained a consistent flux between presence and absence. Brick architecture, arcades, and magic lanterns all point towards the construction of spaces both real and imagined, remembered and desired. As stand-ins for the body, the experience of ‘entering’ into them can become psychologically charged; ominous and inviting at the same time. ‘Reclaimed Empire (Deep Edit)’ is an ongoing series comprised of over 80 fragments and short video works. The original title, ‘reclaimed empire,’ initially an overt nod to Warhol’s ‘Empire,’ speaks less about homage, and more to the notion of a constant return to repeated subject matter – a gaze that never leaves, that stares unblinkingly – mechanically – at the same subject. This was my Empire, comprised of whatever was on hand in the studio, sculptural fragments, broken mirrors, architectural models, and other detritus. Employing this short form or fragment rather than a longer narrative has allowed for a more intuitive way of working, closer to a photographic process. In this way, imagery that would otherwise lay dormant erupts in unexpected ways…”

The title is a direct reference from an essay “The Obelisk” by Hakim Bey. This essay was originally the inspiration for a work installed at GAR in 2015 where an actual concrete obelisk was poured and buried in the GAR courtyard. This obelisk has been slowly re-emerging – a process known as “concretion” in geological terms.

Galveston Artist Residency is located at 2521 Mechanic St., Downtown Galveston. For more info go to, email, or call (409)974-4446.


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