If a Honolulu Museum of Art event requires visuals or sound or a film festival needs an engaging, clever trailer, theatre projectionist and special events assistant Alec Singer is most likely the person at the helm—although he stays so below the radar, you wouldn’t even know it.
But if you head downtown now until February 28, you definitely won’t miss Singer’s knack for the arts. He and a friend, Maxfield Smith, have a new exhibition open at 1121 Nu‘uanu Avenue, on the second floor. Called Medium or the last dollar you have and the fortune you find, the installation features selected works by the two artists that explore our current state of greed, including but not limited to “channeling spirits, the subconscious mind, homelessness, greedy people, and the 12-year ultimatum,” according to Singer. (A glance at our current political and socioeconomic landscape can confirm such issues are pretty endemic.) The works are the opposite of static—they involve sound, television screens, images that literally spin and more.
The HoMA blog caught up with Singer and Smith to learn more about how the two know each other and the installation itself.
What is your background? How do you two know each other?
Singer: I am a product of the Atomic Age. My parents met because of the war. We moved every three to four years to follow orders. I remember 9/11. We met by chopping coconuts. We are comrades.
Smith: A fellow child of the Atom bomb. We knew of each other through various channels, but became friends after catching a taxi cab.
Tell me about the installation.
Smith: The installation is a brainchild between Alec and me. I think it just bloomed out of our fast pace and interest in irony.
Singer: Donnie Cervantes from Aupuni Space, a gallery in Kaka’ako that we frequent, took a chance on us. It’s an initiative of the Pu’uhonua Society and Trades A.i.R that supports community-based projects and exhibitions. The concept of this show is an extension from earlier work exhibited at The Outpost from the lovely folks over at Hound & Quail.
What do you want audiences to gain from your installation?
Smith: A sense of appreciation for the darker humors in life.
Singer: I have no clue, never thought of it much.
Who is one of your favorite artists right now?
Smith: If I could name one, it would be specifically Tom Friedman’s piece Untitled – A Curse.
Singer: Kainoa Gruspe, my favorite painter.
Attend the closing reception for the show on February 28 at 6pm. Once again, the address is 1121 Nu’uanu Avenue, on the 2nd floor. This event is open to the public.
Featured image is of Alec Singer, taken by Mark Kushimi