TARPAULIN SKY V4n2
BUSHWICK FARMS presents
Tara Cuthbert and Stuart Solzberg are obsessed with actualizing a history and genealogy for a conceptual project known as Bushwick Farms. Over the past five years Cuthbert and Solzberg have been constructing a tangible fiction, which revolves around a family farm, its extended genealogy, and a constructed mythology.
Bushwick Farms is an endeavor interested in blurring the boundaries between art and life. Cuthbert and Solzberg's process is multi-faceted and manifests itself in diverse forms. Incorporating mediums such as performance art, photography, video, interactive installation and constructed mythologies, they attempt to make their conceptual narrative real. References include cottage industry, hybrid genealogy, personal mythologies and otherworldly existences.
Bushwick Farms was created while Cuthbert and Solzberg were living in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. This area is known for its desolate industrial landscape. Through altering postcards and found photographs, they constructed an elaborate conceptual family history and genealogy for Bushwick Farms. In 2001, they decided to take Bushwick Farms national. They purchased a 1979 Ford pick-up truck and 1968 17ft travel trailer, and transformed them into a mobile studio/home. They placed large white vinyl letters on both sides of the trailer that read BUSHWICK FARMS.
Intrigued by the notion of blending fact and fiction, they began to live as Joe Rotto and Violet Gray. Joe Rotto is the youngest of three sons of the Bushwick family and manages The Traveling Variety Show, sponsored by Bushwick Farms. As written in the history of Bushwick Farms, Joe and Violet traveled America for several years with The Traveling Variety Show. Cuthbert and Solzberg spent four years traveling America under the guise of their conceptual Traveling Variety Show, all the while meeting others, some of whom would become characters within the Traveling Variety Show.
Currently, The Traveling Variety Show is in hiatus. Cuthbert and Solzberg recently returned to Brooklyn, New York—an event, they say, that granted them Official Bushwick Farms Representative status. As Official Representatives, they maintain and host The Bushwick Family Archives and TeaRoom. They continue to explore Bushwick Farms through a recent development, known as The Bushwick Family Creation Mythology.
The piece included in this issue of Tarpaulin Sky was written by one of the members of the Traveling Variety Show that Violet Gray/Tara Cuthbert and Joe Rotto/Stuart Solzberg met during their travels, the Fortune Teller. This excerpt comes from her multi-media journal [a project in process] and includes snapshots from the Bushwick Farms Traveling Variety Show album.
You can read more about Bushwick Farms at:
STUART SOLZBERG (USA)
TARA CUTHBERT (AUSTRALIA)
The MacDowell Colony, Artists in Residence, Peterborough, NH (2005)
EXHIBITIONS (*denotes solo)
Solo exhibition, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE* (2007)
SUNY New Paltz, visiting artist presentation, New Paltz, NY (2005)
Bemis Center for Contemporary Art