To Eric Zimmerman, the historical significance of a Sonic Youth tape stuck to the floor of his car for 15 years is on equal footing with a Neolithic stone axe. In A Few Things For The World’s End, Zimmerman is not invoking the apocalypse, but pining for a world that handles meaning a bit more timorously.
The title is a reference to T.C. Boyle’s novel World’s End, though in the fashion of art, the show isn’t a literal statement on the literary work, it’s just a ‘very rough jumping off point’, as the artist reports. The work as a whole reflects this titular dynamic though: these are representational drawings in graphite that are named by what they depict. Occasionally, Zimmerman will offer direct comparisons to the viewer, as in one small drawing, wherein we see a Roman bust floating above a graphic pattern created using an analogue computer from John H. Whitney. He relents, however, that these are still drawings, they’re objects even as they refer to other objects.
The history of the object is never intentionally erased, though convolutions happen when considering personal associations to what is viewed. Zimmerman is okay with this. He says he’s pushing back against a time when everything is a signal loaded with specific and intentional meaning. There should be room for more ambiguity, fewer sales pitches. He reiterates of the work, “This is not Zen, this is accepting meaninglessness as productive and radical in this day and age"
The result is a poetic installation, replete with an appropriative assemblage of historical and cultural items whose proximity to each other works mysteriously in service to our emotional response, thus creating an infinite mixtape of connections and feelings.
An artist and writer based in Seattle, Zimmerman’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Art Palace Gallery in Houston and the Reading Room in Dallas, and as part of group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He was a resident at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. Zimmerman was most recently the Assistant Exhibition Designer at The Menil Collection in Houston, and editor of Austin-based art journal ...might be good. He has held teaching positions at St. Edwards University and the University of Texas at Austin. Zimmerman received his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2002.