PARANOID TIERS | Griffin McPartland and Paul Urich
November 6 – 28, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday Nov 6, 6–9 PM
These Days and & Pens Press are pleased to present PARANOID TIERS, an exhibition and zine release.
Paranoid Tiers is an ongoing collaborative art project by Griffin McPartland and Paul Urich. McPartland, a garbage man by trade, is a collector of discarded keepsakes that he discovers on his routes – things like photographs, journals, and old books are all in this stockpile. At one point, he began taking these old books, tearing out pages from them and scrawling his minimal poetic verses upon them. After which, he would mail these pages off to friends. In February of 2014, he received a package in return mailed to him by tattoo artist and friend Paul Urich. Urich had taken McPartland’s poetry scribed book pages that he had received and added his own ballpoint pen drawings to the top of them. From that point on Paranoid Tiers was born.From the introduction to the forthcoming book, PARANOID TEARS published this month by & Pens Press, artist Jason Jägel writes "This particular collection of Paranoid Tears opens with 'From the Age of Affirmation' and ends 'Engulfed in a Rainbow Light'. In between are the uncanny word-picture combinations whose significances radiate in overlapping vectors. The sorrow of self-awareness and wispy scratches ghostly like rotting lace; the concrete poetry of tracking what is right around with sparse doodles that feel like they were born in an instant; circular aphorisms and concentrated marks with blood-like saturation. Double entendres, in-jokes and real love from unreliable narrators you can trust.
Paul and Griffin are my kind of artists. Art-making that is tied up with every moment of living, part of a quest for authenticity, for healing, for freedom of self. Work that uses easy, direct materials to minimize transition from self to surface. In time –talking decades– it takes on a life of its own. The body of all we’ve made vs. the body.
When I read-see Paranoid Tiers I am in a spectral space, parallel to the lives of Urich and McPartland. There was living happening in and around the occasions when pen went to paper. I can feel uninterrupted life encoded on this paper that lived it’s cheap life once before and is now living again. And like Kathy Acker said about writing being a time triad, my present blends with the (already multiple) feelings on the page. The sensations of living –before, during and after stepping through a Paranoid Tier– braid together like stippled shading of a blue ballpoint pen." - Jason Jägel, San Francisco 10/19/21