Golden Parachutes and Tin Handcuffs, works by James Bills
Yes Gallery is proud to present Golden Parachutes andTin Handcuffs, an exhibition by James
Bills curated by Lesley Doukhowetzky. “Golden Parachutes and Tin Handcuffs are catchphrases
from the financial industry to describe the bonuses executives receive when dismissed
from their failing companies. Golden Parachutes, used pre-recession, are large payments with
few strings attached. Tin Handcuffs, used post-recession, are smaller payments with restrictions.
Either way, the contradiction of rewarding failure still stands as an example of the bad
logic that is rampant in the financial industry. e works in this show take this illogical
stance as a point of inspiration, using charts and renderings that defy straight forward analysis
and focus on random data and it’s complex and intricate nature.
Inspired by mathematics, these drawings fuse a variety of visualization tools, graphs, and
diagrams with elements of architectural drafting, isometric projection and scalar measurements.
Each piece can be seen as a chart of data or a rendering of a building or sculpture.
However, rather than objectively collecting data, mapping it and presenting it for analysis, the
artist is more concerned with the aesthetics and allure of the visualization process itself. e
data is generated by chance using polyhedral dice found often with role playing games. ese
dice come in a variety of shapes, with 4 to 20 sides, and create random numbers within
certain parameters (between 4 to 20) as well as bringing an element of fantasy. e numbers
rolled are recorded and then meticulously applied to measurements in the drawing. Decorative
finishes of gilding and colored pencil are then applied, providing more prominence on
glamour, intricacy and beauty rather than a practical use. ese familiar tools of mathematics
are subverted to present not an explanation but a sense of natural and compelling disorder.