Exhibit @ Franklin House 4201, 11 August 2017, Los Angeles, CA
cycle-series, franklin exhibit :: seven sauer
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Cycle-Series by Steve (Seven) Sauer is a set of referential, reverential, and narrative sculptures, composed from bicycle parts and afflatus which echo ideas from a diverse selection of influences to express anguish, pay homage, focus (or diffuse) opinion, and to simply explore. Steve is a multidisciplinary engineer, designer, and builder with scores of interests, including enduring enthusiasm for bicycles. Expansion of the series continues, adding to a Cycle-Series origin collection from 2010-2012. Kristi invited an exhibit at 4201 Franklin Avenue, with food, music, more art, and good people. Sculptures featured in this exhibit listed and described below:
Show Title [not present]
Show Title features a spring-cushioned seat from an old, light-green English 3-Speed, mounted on the rolling base of a medical IV stand to form the title sign for the earlier Cycle-Series origin exhibit. OIXIO is a registered business name that I’ve used since 1995 as a collector for creative projects. OIXIO, a bi-axially symmetric palindrome, also functions as an alter-ego moniker for my creative/artistic side. Also, I sometimes (un)identify myself as "Seven Sauer". A dropped "t" sets it apart from my legal name and gives me a less trodden set of letters to link to my art works. There, that should create sufficient identity confusion:
Steve (Seven) Sauer : 7S : OIXIO !
Don’t Stop features bicycle brake blocks arranged in a twenty-five element square array (a recurrent theme in my OIXIO graphics). Two of the blocks are in contact with each other, representing a loving human relationship in a field of singles. A wish is inferred to keep that bond whole and not to stop, though the context is suggestive in opposition. One brake block serves as a handle to lower the "DON’T STOP" tag from behind the aluminum plate, as an interactive element inviting touch. The cable from which the plate hangs passes over a brake-yoke in a way common for bicycle center-pull brakes. (This is the piece that initiated Cycle-Series.)
A'trophy is another manifestation of the seat and handlebars bull skull. This one is comprised of some rather time-worn parts that Nature has been working on with some oxidation tricks. A Brooks B5ST leather seat with ample surface cracking and underside leather disintegration is combined with some fairly rusty chromed-steel handlebars from a good old English 3-speed. An alloy stem, steel seat clamp, aluminum tube, wooden block, and aluminum back plate completes the arrangement. These bike parts are ready to live out their remaining time on a wall, after long years of service and some follow-on neglect. We can't escape it, so why not celebrate it: A trophy to atrophy!
Artifact Fiction is a simple composition of the pretty, shiny parts that might front a racing bicycle in the early 1980s: A chrome fork, Campagnolo (Tipo) front hub, chromed-steel headset with aluminum headtube, and a Cinelli stem. As atypical quirk, a quick-release skewer from a hub secures the stem to the steering tube. No intended deeper meaning here, but I welcome you to assign some if you like.
Handleblades is a manifestation of chef and paring knives as handlebars/grips and brake levers. With an integrated stem mounted on a fork, there is allusion to a potentially dangerous arrangement, perhaps as indicated by the ’blood’ spatter on the aluminum fork blades. Inspiration came from a reading of "Blood Secrets" by Rod Englert and two seasons of "Dexter" episodes, and the sensual shape and material nature of common cutlery. The fork comes from a 1970s Viscount Aerospace - a bike that found infamy for human injuries associated with the catastrophic failure of their cast-aluminum "death forks". The stainless steel stem is set well above the limit line (ever so hazardous), and there is a telling skeletal ring higher up the stem quill. A skewer marked "Lambert" (a name associated with the Viscount Aerospace lineage) secures the fork to an aluminum block base via a pseudo-hub assembly.
Lancelot is a figure comprised of a road-bike fork, the hanger from a rolling I.V.-rack, seat-stays from an English 3-speed frame, a corrupted headset arrangement, a Presta valve stem and cap, a slot-head screw, and wire nuts. This piece addresses drug use in Le Tour de France; an issue that really flared up in 2009 (and then even more-so in following years), and behavior that has always been part of the race in some form. The yellow-capped penis indicates testing of urine from racers, and the IV ’shoulders’ speak of blood testing and doping and intravenous drug injection. The red ’hands’ are about getting caught. The headset has slipped to a low position of shame and is adorned with a bad-ass mohawk-man charm. There’s a rump on the back formed by a slotted screw. The title of the piece references my favorite TDF winner*, and the knightly status and extreme actions and expectations of the riders. An aluminum block base with vague graphical relics and an Ofmega (’false’ Campy) skewer and pseudo-hub arrangement completes the piece.
Duchamp Edison is a re-visioning of Marcel Duchamp’s famous "readymade" composition of bicycle wheel, fork, and wooden stool. With a rusting old British Sturmey-Archer Dynohub wheel, I’ve included homage to Thomas Edison with my homage to Monsieur Duchamp by illuminating a common Edison-style light bulb via the generated electrical output from the hub. A found industrial stool, a Raleigh bike frame fork – straightened, and a few other bits form my new, but not unfamiliar composition. A red reflector under the stool indicates reflection on things that have gone before. I celebrate the beauty of form in the everyday light bulb as it is being widely vilified for being a poor converter of electricity into light.
Baphomet is a handlebar-seat ram’s head, perched over an inverted blue-painted iron star. The seat came from a nice rusty 1960's all-Italian Legnano road bike, rescued with a 20 dollar bill just after it was flung into a giant dumpster at a Seattle bike shop. I resurrected the seat for Baphomet by removing green mold patina from the leather, and replacing rusted steel rivets with aluminum pop-rivets. Joined cuttings of two ends of some mangled handlebars form some nice horns, and a cast aluminum part from an English kickstand, some machined aluminum parts, and standard hardware complete this piece. Seems like a friendly enough occult hero.
White Horse is a simple celebration of some groovy old American steel bicycle handlebars. Mounted on a cylinder of stainless steel with a chromed-steel pole, there’s a real nice horsey.
Please see www.oixio.com for additional information including contact information.
Steve Sauer grew up in Boulder, Colorado and rode a bike most days from the age of five or so. He began working as a bike assembler in the mid 1970’s, and continued in the summers for the next 9 years, over which he assembled some ten thousand bikes. He rode through the winters to school, on the mountain trails (in the pre-mountain-bike era), trained and raced, and toured a little. Seattle, San Francisco, Italy, England, Seattle, Long Beach. Steve has continued to ride, build, collect, and experiment with bicycles from his current base in the 'Arts District' of Long Beach, California.
Steve has a Mechanical Engineering degree, and an MA in Whole Systems Design focused on creative design process, and works professionally on integration of commercial airplane interior features and systems.
Other outside projects include design/build of pico-dwelling, a small urban dwelling prototype on Lower Queen Anne, Seattle.
Thank you for spending some time here!
Steve (Seven) Sauer ⚜ 7S ⚜ OIXIO ⚜ © 1995-2017