The works in the exhibition “Squeezed Reliefs” were inspired by the financial crash and subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-10, in which I was intimately involved. After the foreclosure of my small house in upstate NY, I moved back to NYC where storage space came at a much higher premium. As a result, I decided to re-use many unsold works for the construction of a new exhibition. I cut apart many sculptures and paintings and reassembled them as assemblages,
acting as a kind of human trash compactor. The title “Squeezed Reliefs” was a literal translation of Donatello’s “rilievo schiacciato”, a form which was the height of perspectival illusionism in the 15th century. My use referred to a literal compression of material, as well as the colloquial f inancial “squeeze”. On the lumpy, irregular surfaces of the reliefs, I projected and painted two types of poetry: copies of the bills, demands, and threats I had collected from various creditors and scam artists, and lines from poetry and literature which I felt expressed my subjective position in relation to them.
The sculpture in the show was a variation on Marcel Broodthaers famous “Pense Bete”, made from copies of one of my own catalogues. The contents of the large collage, entitled “Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme”, are diagrammed on the side of the glass case in which it is sometimes displayed and an accompanying wall label.