We Go From Where We Know

“J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know” "Nash Corn Crib" and “Concrete Tear Drops” surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. October 13, 2013 – February 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

“J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know” “Nash Corn Crib” and “Concrete Tear Drops” surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. October 13, 2013 – March 2, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know  "Nash Corn Crib" and "Concrete Tear Drops" surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin October 13, 2013 - February 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know” “Nash Corn Crib” and “Concrete Tear Drops” surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. October 13, 2013 – March 2, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

A collaboration with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Connecting Communities program, We Go From Where We Know was the culmination of our research-driven The Wisconsin Project. The installation centered around a Wisconsin-built 1949 Nash Ambassador sedan automobile filled with individually hand-cast concrete corncobs and life-size full-length studio portrait photographs of Wisconsin Natives & Tourists. “Nash Corn Crib” is based on Shimon’s childhood memory of a derelict Nash repurposed as a corn crib by a neighboring farmer. Glass and rusty nail encrusted concrete tear drops, a participatory installation of “found” vintage postcards, trophy cases of “made” cyanotype and palladium real photo postcards, a reliquary of Wisconsin tourist souvenirs, and 101 framed watercolor paintings depicting a Rural Utopia combined to express the Wisconsin we have come to know through the works of self-taught artists whose primary medium was concrete and agrarian wisdom(s). Seeing our home state characterized as a Gothic netherworld in Michael Lesy’s seminal book Wisconsin Death Trip, as a picturesque vactionland on picture postcards, and populated by hard-working gemutlichkeit cheeseheads galvanized our meditation on Wisconsin as place as we museum-ized the mood and objects we found here.

View Natives & Tourists portrait photographs on Flickr

View Rural Utopia watercolors on Blogspot

View Made and Found postcards on Blogspot

View the We Go From Where We Know improvisational performance on YouTube

View photographs from the opening by Art Elkon and James Rhem

Listen to Caitlin Oleson’s interview with Shimon & Lindemann about art and life

Read more about the 1949 Nash Ambassador on Blogspot

Read Shepherd Express 11.27.2013 review by Erin Hefferman

Read The Nash Times January/February 2014 reportage by Tom Creecy

Read Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2.16.2014 review by Mary Louise Schumacher

Read Third Coast Daily 2.28.2013 review by Kat Murrell

Read Photograph Magazine March/April 2014 review by Lyle Rexer

Read mnartists.org 5.7.2014 review by Jay Orff

20th Century Optimism

Electrical Shock from Season’s Gleamings, 2004, 10×8 transparency

We did a book once, Season’s Gleamings, and a film, Foot Massage,  about the optimism of the 1960s expressed through aluminum Christmas tree design and electrical devices, some made in our hometown of Manitowoc.  CBS Sunday Morning and The New York Times  covered it. Most Decembers to this day we get calls from writers to talk about the trees from publications like  Der Spiegel in Hamburg or Third Coast Digest Milwaukee. The trip continues.

Real Photo Postcard Survey Project

Ryan A. (6.17.2010)

Ryan A. (6.17.2010), 5.5×3.25 palladium postcard print

When we moved into our studio in 1989, Ryan was a kid playing in the side alley. Now he runs the Boarding House next door. He stood for a portrait the day Wisconsin Public Television documented us working on our Real Photo Postcard Survey Project. View the WPT segment here.

Rich with Airstream

Rich in his Airstream, Two Rivers, Wisconsin, 2008, 12×20 gum over platinum-palladium print

The Milwaukee Art Museum sent Dan Ollman to make a 2-minute video about us making this photograph with our 12×20 banquet camera. A dark cloud blew in while we worked and Rich told his story. View the video here on YouTube.