Monday, January 31, 2011

A Language Beyond Words

In the House of the Mineral Spirits
The performance is past, but the show continues. There are multiple videos to be seen. On opening night, in conversation, an onlooker and I agreed that there is "something there" that we could not quite describe in Dean Ebben's videos. There is vulnerability, at times innocence and almost always mystery. We agreed that his work is full of a language beyond words.

Pictured above is a still from the video If I Could Roll It Out Of Me. This is the video that convinced me to invite Dean to create a show here.

The show continues to the end of February.

Susan Hensel Gallery hours: Monday 10-5 and by very generous appointment.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In the House of the MIneral Spirits: PHOTOS!

The opening was very well attended.
The videos were beautiful!

Tomorrow, I will begin to show you how this corner was used!

Meanwhile, rest is in order. If you cannot wait for the upcoming photos on the blog, go to the website and see more!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Performers introduce themselves

The performance this Friday is entitled Bound

Performers Biography

Jon Wickham, Rolling in Plastic Tapestry

Northeast Minneapolis resident Jon Wickham has lived in Minnesota all his life; he grew up in a small agricultural community but moved to the city in 1992 and has been around the local musicscene for many years. In his spare time he enjoys gardening and riding his motorcycle. This is his first time participating in performance art.

Jennifer Markey, Playing Silverware

Country singer-songwriter Jennifer Markey can frequently be seen playing with her band, the Tennessee Snowpants, at clubs around the Twin Cities. They put out two albums in 2010; "We're All Going To Hell!" and "The Sparta Session." They will be back in the studio in summer 2011 to record their third release.


MC Hyland, Aggressive Bread Kneader

Poet MC Hyland’s chapbooks include “Every Night in Magic City” (H_NGM_N, 2010), “Residential, As In” (Blue Hour Press, 2009) and “the hesitancies” (Small Fires Press, 2006, with Kate Lorenz and Friedrich Kerksieck). Her first full-length collection, “Neveragainland,” is forthcoming this winter from Lowbrow Press.

Read some poetry here:

Hyland lives in Minneapolis, where she runs DoubleCross Press and the Pocket Lab Reading Series and works as an administrator and occasional letterpress instructor at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Tom Evans, Portable Victrola Scratching

Lives in New York City he is the assistant to the artist and has hitched himself to a runaway train.

Nancy Morris, Kick Drum

In the House of the Mineral Spirits

by Dean Ebben

opens Friday, Jan 14


performance begins at 7pm

Progress & Thank you! City Pages!

Coco Mault at CityPages wrote about the show as did Jessica Armbruster. We could not be MORE pleased!

The "house " is complete...well, maybe, except for the chimneys. It is the screen for In The House of the Mineral Spirits, Dean's newest, just completed video. The video is stunning!

In the House of the Mineral Spirits
opening Friday, January 14
performance begins 7pm

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Progress toward performance

Intrepid. Deliberate. Calm.
The steps toward the performance Friday are being taken. Rather like planning for a mountainous trek, the Sherpas are gathered (Dale Kennedy, Dean Ebben Senior, Me), the materials organized and assessed. Weights and measures are taken.

The scene, from the metaphoric peak I seem to have imagined, is being set.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ebben has Deep ties to Minneapolis

Dean Ebben has deep ties here. Although he has lived and worked in NYC for years, be grew up in the Twin Cities, graduating from Perpich Center for Art Education(lucky guy!). Through out his educational and professional career he has always returned.
He has been a frequent instructor at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. I think he interned at
Cave Paper (It that right, Dean?).

In the House of the Mineral Spirits, opening January 14, is inspired and fueled by his relationship with the Twin Cities. It is a truly diverse show, as diverse as the community that formed him. It will have drawings on over beaten flax handmade paper from Cave Paper.
In the House of The Mineral Spirits
Jan 14-Feb 28, 2011

opening reception Friday, Jan 14, 6-10 with a performance commencing around 7pm

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ebben Install Begins

I am excited! This show will grow as the week proceeds. Today, the first load of parts arrived and the primary screen was built. It always begins as a mess! Bags of parts and tools, boxes of framed gouaches.

What will tomorrow bring?

In the House of the Mineral Spirits
installation, performance, works on paper

January 14- February 28, 2011

OPening performance and reception for the artist
Friday, January 14, 6-10pm

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dean Ebben, mystery & Eva Hesse

I was excited to see these images in the inventory that Dean sent me prior to the show. This series, the "F" series, each approximately 15 inches square, is watercolor on translucent Belgian flax handmade paper. I love how this lustrous, hydrophilic, translucent paper, pulls and buckles in response to water media. Belgian flax makes wildly crackly paper, a wildly reactive paper that paradoxically looks like fine parchment, scraped to near transparency. The drawings remind me of Eva Hesse...clean, subtle, deceptively simple. They are ghosts, chimeras, holding their mystery close. But make no mistake, there is mystery here.

In the House of the Mineral Spirits
Jan. 14-Feb 28, 2011

Opening reception Friday, Jan 14, 6-10pm with a performance commencing at @7pm.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

In the House of the Mineral Spirits

Using Flikr posting for the first time! I consider this a test! But, here is the ad from the Corcoran Neighborhood News. The show opens very, very soon!


As I look over the exhibition history of Dean Ebben, it seems that entropy plays a part...the assembling and disintegration of our best laid plans, perhaps. In the House of the Mineral Spirits, opening January 14, 6-10 pm.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dean Ebben: rolling in the dark

It seems to me that Dean Ebben's mythology is one of mystery, struggle and redemption.This was the reason I invited Dean Ebben to develop a show for Susan Hensel Gallery. I had seen his video If I could roll it out of me (still from the video above). In this video a man, Dean, places himself in a "wilderness" to roll until he could physically roll no more. It captured my attention on a deep level. It began as child begins, with a simple joyful act. I remember ecstatically rolling down cool grassy hills as a child, smelling the earth, the worms and beetles, the new growth under a warm summer sky. But we grow and we grow-up and the simple acts change. They are more difficult and fraught with meaning and mystery. Come see this video and more :

In the House of the Mineral Spirits
installation, performance, video,works on paper
by Dean Ebben

Jan 14-Feb 28, 2011

opening reception Friday, January 14, 6-10pm with a performance commencing @7pm.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rolling with Dean Ebben

When Dean was at St. John University last year, he wove a protective blanket that became part of the performance.
Our space is smaller, more intimate with warm, hardwood floors. But Dean has been weaving another blanket, just for us...for you. The new blanket will be part of the new performance, Friday Dec. 17, 7pm at Susan Hensel Gallery.
Will it be orange?
I do not know.
Will it go home with you?
I do not know.
But I do know that some of the materials of the performance will be transformed during the evening into individual artworks that will go home with you, free of charge.

In the House of the Mineral Spirits
installation, video, performance & works on paper
Jan 14-Feb 28, 2011

opening reception Friday, Jan 14, 6-10 pm with a performance beginning around 7pm

Saturday, January 1, 2011





In the House of the Mineral Spirits

Jan 14- Feb 28

The Susan Hensel Gallery has been quiet for the last six months, but that is about to change. On January 14, a new show In the House of the Mineral Spirits, by Dean Ebben, will kick off the final full season of Susan Hensel Gallery before retirement, with performance, installation and works on paper. A reception for the artist will be held Friday, January 14, 6-10pm, with a performance that begins at 7pm.

It will be a visually, aurally rich evening with a gift at the end. Much of the evening will be given over to a performance and series of video projections with live and recorded gamelan music. The central performer of the evening will interact with woven structures, symbolic ice, a starlit sky and sound. In the end, the pieces of the performance are ephemeral and will be transformed on site into free gifts. But the videos and the installation will remain, looping and interacting with the local environment for the duration of the show.

In The House of The Mineral Spirits is a play on words and meanings. The idea of the house is a metaphor of one’s inner-self. “We all have spirits, ghosts, even demons that haunt us in our past, present, and future. The mineral spirits are poison, alcohol, things that evaporate. They are ethereal and clear.”

Dean Ebben’s work always begins as a biographical narrative, taking on a life of its own, building with the response of the viewers. He sees this show as a “wisdom work," seeking wisdom through the exploration of ideas, materials, mythology, and narrative. By using his own observations and experiences in a subtle visual context, he requires the viewers to look carefully and ask themselves what they find significant

Dean Ebben grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Pratt Institute. His media is drawing... but not in the way that most people think of an elegant line of pen or pencil. He works with multi-media in a meditative manner akin to the discovery process inherent in drawing. In this show you will see video, performance, artists books, sculpture, gouache paintings, and cyanotype.

In a world of mass culture, which inflicts sensory overload, people tend to become desensitized to visual culture. Ebben asks the viewer to stop and look closely to find what is significant. Finding wisdom through observation and reflection.

As things in the show transform themselves, as videos loop to provide different glimpses into new realities, this show will be an exciting and apt beginning to a transitional year in the life of Susan Hensel Gallery.


Installation, performance and works on paper


Dean Ebben

WHEN: January 14-February 28, 2011

Reception: Friday, January 14, 6-10pm

Performance at @ 7pm, Jan 14

WHERE: Susan Hensel Gallery

3441 Cedar Ave S

CONTACT: Susan Hensel 612 722-2324