ARTnews: Consumer Reports: Jim Drain

By the editors

As a member of the influential Providence art collective Forcefield, Jim Drain helped blend music, performance, film, and installation into an ecstatic whole. On his own, Drain works in a variety of mediums, connecting the dots between sculpture, knitwear, painting, and beyond with a distinct visual energy. Drain has work in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art and has staged solo exhibitions at the University of Florida, Prism Gallery in Los Angeles, and Locust Projects in Miami, to name a few.

In one busy week, Drain travels between Rhode Island, New York, and Florida, attending openings, giving lectures, and designing parks. Along the way, Instagram factors in heavily, both as a tool for documentation and cultural research. Tanker chairs are salvaged from a classically dilapidated Rhode Island warehouse and “Islands In The Stream” plays not on speakers but in the artist’s head…Welcome to a week in the world of Drain. —John Chiaverina


Monday, November 3

7:58 a.m.

I am at the manor in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Fresh from the shower, I see a text from Keith blinking. It says: “Let’s see how sass master flash feels after his wine induced ‘tude sesh. Report immediately.” I texted him last night because I will be in New York Wednesday, but won’t be staying with him. I replied: “so fuck you.”


8:30 a.m.

Instagram is becoming a three-dimensional landscape pitted with slime pools and dungeons. Liked Houston’s FB post “Whether it’s a picture, a written article, a ceremonial vision, or rite of passage, it is our lot as humans to endure these changes across our personal topologies with GRACE.”


8:46 a.m.

Edited a comment on FB: 104 likes. 2 shares. Nik Kosmas asks me, “U play [chess]?” which, coming from Nik, makes me soul search momentarily.


Songs currently in brain: Devo’s line “I like the way they comb their hair” and the commercial for answering machine tapes (as rapped, early ’90s style) “Wait for the beep; gotta leave your name; gotta leave your number, wait for the beep.”


9:40 a.m.

Texted Phil and Ara and gave them a head’s up on a building in Woonsocket that was clearing its 100 years of fucked-up inventory. I went looking for tanker chairs and found a dozen.

11:10 a.m.

Post two IGs: the first in the worst, most disgusting part of the building. It is a video of sewer pipes and rotting cardboard boxes. The second post (11:40 a.m.) is a photo of a staircase that is incredibly solid of cherry red and golden hues.


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November 12, 2014