A strange thing happens when we step from outside to inside. Suddenly, it seems we’re no longer in that wider landscape that contains all spaces but instead we’re inside a separate, different place. While Kristin Bauer looks at the structures that contain us as a metaphor for the tools we use to divide people ideologically, Grady Gerbracht utilizes the very structure that keeps us on the interior as a method to reconnect with the exterior in space.
While on his daily commute on the NJ Transit bus system, Gerbracht began to trace images of what he saw onto the window with a dry erase marker. “The tracing registers with the scene outside for only a moment. I stop drawing when the bus begins to move again.”
Like Gordon Matta-Clark’s Conical Intersect or Day’s End where he literally cut through buildings to reveal the exterior, Gerbracht attempts to transfer the exterior to the interior—drawing the landscape outside the bus on to the interior. Inside, it becomes part of a painted panorama with the window as canvas. Our experience of looking, always somewhat separate from the world of our internal selves, manifests itself in a closer, more personal space.
As we watch the video documentation, we can clearly see the discipline, attention and labor that Gerbracht enacted to create this piece. All of these commutes and all of these stops and starts of the bus were attempted to be grasped in a rushed, gestural manner for the purpose of captururing time. The space between the interior of the bus and the exterior world is torn apart, leaving a miniature depiction of the landscape.
Gerbracht’s ephemeral drawings are likely cleaned off by the next day and acknowledge the limit of his ability to be in both places at the same time: inside and outside. While attempting to hold on to the place that he is passing through, his efforts communicate a desire to cross the most difﬁcult boundary—to stop time.