Benjamin Busch

1. – I first met Harry Roseman in the declining ruin of a greenhouse that served as the Vassar College sculpture studio in the summer of 1987. The cluttered space held the smell of damp clay, steam, and something like rust. Maybe rust, actually. Abandoned figure studies and fragments of work from a recent history of classes littered the uneven tables. It seemed like a museum for a people who knew, as they made their artifacts, that they were never going to be important enough to take out of that room. Harry arrived on time but moved as if he were late, hastily placing a spilling folder full of handwritten notes on an easel and hanging a camera by its strap on a nail. We formed an arc around him as if he had ordered it and he introduced himself. “Hi. I’m Harry Roseman and this is Sculpture 204. We are going to explore how to consider volume, mass, space, and materiality.” I thought that he had invented the word “materiality”. He continued, “This isn’t technical instruction, it’s an intellectual exercise. I’m not here necessarily to tell you that you are wrong about anything that you do…but more to engage in conversation about how you could be more right. If that makes any sense…because it does.” He paused. “OK, so you should probably introduce yourselves.” Then he took a moment and we waited. I happened to be standing closest to him and he turned to me with raised eyebrows, “And you are?”…and I said “Benjamin Busch”. The greenhouse has been removed and there is now just trimmed lawn where so many of us first met Harry Roseman. He has since been one of my dearest friends.

2. – Artist’s Statement: I am packing for perpetuity. My work is done in opposition to disorder, impermanence, and mortality. It is thus, in truth, nothing but defiance. I am prepared to fight my insignificance to the end.

——June 2008