Jeffrey Allen Price / Juliana Driever
Jeffrey Allen Price’s processed-oriented work begins with the habit of collecting. Accumulations of objects and images, often the result of a years-long engagement with a singular concept, are the sources for the artist’s multi-faceted installations. Price’s material preoccupations are typically with ordinary things — various recyclables, detritus, and organic materials that are close at-hand. One of his most enduring projects has been with the humble tuber: the potato.
Potato Outpost: Think Potato Institute is the culmination of over twenty years of gathering various potato-related cultural artifacts, artworks, books, music, films, cooking and farming implements, toys, and other ephemera. It is a rhizomatic exploration and celebration of an unassuming vegetable; a devotion to the subject that is at once completely sincere and abundantly playful. Installed at the MODA Retail Space on Parsons Boulevard, this iteration of Think Potato Institute takes its shape as a shrine, accompanied by the video work, This is How I Say Potato. In this installation, a curious arrangement of objects, like hand-fashioned potato creatures (some referencing devotional nkisi figures) and a diminutive Mr. Potato Head toy, were displayed alongside a others, like a vintage potato chips container, potato stamps, and other sundry potato-centric articles. Throughout the run of Jamaica Flux, Price also conducted a series of workshops and events meant to draw in public interaction with the installation, and create meaningful points of contact.
Price’s ambitious contribution to Jamaica Flux also included Absorption Modules, a large-scale installation of works on paper that were created through a protracted weighting, staining, and weatherizing process. The end results were works with a thick impasto of organic material and variously textured surfaces, not unlike that of the potato. The Absorption Modules are often combined with, and shown alongside, other works on paper also conceived out of natural staining processes. Price’s Rustagrams, Enolograms, and ChaDaoGrams (made with rust, wine, and tea, respectively), recall intricate mandala-like forms, favoring the elemental shape of the circle. Taken as a whole, the installation also had the feeling of a vast and dense network of constellations, pushing and pulling through themes of the celestial and terrestrial.