During this year's TBA Festival, Nat Andreini and Scott Porter—the Portland duo of Sincerely, John Head—set up a recording studio and invited the public to come in and record a version of one of the six songs from Foghat LIVE (1977). Called "Studio Sessions," the project revealed the pair's detached commentary on the obsessive devotion of fans and collectors, while exposing their own participation in that mentality. For their first solo exhibition, BOX SET: Car Show, Andreini and Porter offer object-based work once again inspired by Foghat. But, as the title suggests, the show blends the lexicons of rock music and car culture with another entry into the Sincerely, John Head mythology: their 1977 Ford Ranchero GT, where Andreini and Porter shared a bonding moment over "Slow Ride."
This marriage of muscle cars and arena rock takes shape in a constellation of objects: an interactive DVD of Foghat LIVE being played on a turntable; a painting of side one of the album made with used motor oil from the Ranchero; even a mounted Ranchero engine, covered in black flock, the fuzzy material used for '70s iron-ons. Andreini and Porter add a layer to all this self-mythologizing with a series of objects that support the seemingly arbitrary importance they place on both the Foghat album and the Ranchero. For example, a gold trophy from a fictionalized car show stands in the center of the gallery, while behind it is an uncut proof of trading cards memorializing the project. Fittingly, Sincerely, John Head intends to collect all of the work relating to Foghat in a future box set.
While the initial response to all this superficial nostalgia and arbitrary idol worship is to laugh, Andreini and Porter smuggle some big ideas in with their pranks. Namely, they lampoon the hype machine by single-handedly controlling every phase of production. Rather than stop with creating the objects themselves, Sincerely, John Head handle the marketing, too, from collectible memorabilia to an unrealized retrospective of their own "greatest hits." Certainly, it's an overt commentary on the record industry's cycle of repackaging and reissuing. But it also speaks to the larger machinations of the art market, where artists are stars one day and as passé as a Ford Ranchero the next.