The diverse works in this show investigate,
play with and subvert the ever shifting set of parameters
that surround the presentation/representation of art in a
ART EXHIBIT BY:
Jens Brasch, JB Daniel (also on the 6th floor stairwell podium),
Vesna Grbovic, Carrrie Iverson, Jenny Roberts, Margy Stover
presence/absence: the artchaeology of an object
‘Art and art works are what they may become.’
History transforms certain cult objects into art, and disfranchises
other works previously considered art.” — T. W.
This work is intended as a discourse between objects and use,
meaning and non-meaning, history and present. The objects
are molds for making wax tools, which eventually will wear
out. We make tools for our use. We create and reproduce meanings
in the same way. Meanings also have their use; we use them
to accomplish our desires. Similarly, “history”
consists of narratives that give meaning to past human experiences
for current purposes. History, and by extension historical
institutions, can be seen as molds or tools for action —
now or in the future.
This body of work functions like a shorthand of a historical
institution. Institutions give shape to ideas and meanings
and perpetuate them over time. These institutions are in turn
shaped and used by particular groups to guarantee their worldview.
The context of the institution gives weight and legitimacy
to objects and meanings contained or framed by them. So institutions
also are cultural tools that form and reproduce some group’s
Tools, institutions, meanings, and molds all are useful through
what they make present and what they make absent. The mold,
once it has made the tool, is put away. A tool is most useful
when you know it so well that it disappears. The same is true
for meanings and institutions.
JB Daniel, untitled (power cord), alignment
JB Daniel makes art that he terms “conceptual objects.”
Often using nontraditional materials, he attempts to bring
everything into question, including art. His work is concerned
realization and interruptions.
The installation “untitled” (power cord) was conceived
in the conversation around the show. He wanted to do something
that would only work in an institutional space — using
the space, and all the space implies, in the work.
The piece “alignment,” which appears in the stairwell
outside of the gallery, taps into the visual resonance of
Vesna Grbovic, lists
Recorded art history brings to the fore significant individuals,
movements, and events, based upon co-relations among artists,
curators and art historians.
By recording lists of names of those involved in the visual
arts, I am making visible part of what constitutes this world.
This work is an attempt to create a database and a document
of as many artists and curators as possible to provide a picture
of the world of visual arts — in this city, at this
particular moment. These relationships and interactions are
at the root of what emerges, and what will emerge, as “art”
in this place and time.
Carrie Iverson, Systemic
“Systemic” examines systems of representing people
— as thumbprints, as phone book entries, as marks of
an EKG. Memory is haphazard, incomplete, and full of blankness,
yet it is the way we order and relate to our experience. I
am fascinated by this tension between the finality of recorded
memory and the intrinsic unreliability of that recording,
in how our memories are invariably filtered and skewed by
how we choose to present them.
Consequently, rather than trying to represent actual events
in my prints, I collect and organize imagery into an object
that acts as a reactive archive-reflecting, distilling, and
evoking memory. I hope that these works can be viewed as contemporary
koans; visual paradoxes that serve as tools for study and
reflection. By its reactive nature printmaking is remarkably
well suited to this pursuit; the development of the image
remains as a palimpsest in the final piece, making it a reflection
of the process of sorting memory itself.
Recently, I've become interested in exaggerating the "accidents"
or idiosyncrasies common to reproductive techniques- the toner
streaks that arise in Xeroxes, or the distortions that occur
from the camera lens. Much of my work is preoccupied with
the reliability and representation of memory, and these distortions
raise provocative questions concerning the dependability of
technology and its alleged objectivity.
Jenny Roberts, walls
These paintings are replicas of portions of artists’
studio walls, including nail holes, smudges and any other
marks that happen to be there.
Hung on the gallery wall, these wall paintings blend into
the background, wavering between object and representation,
reality and illusion. The underlying physical structure of
an artist’s working space, the studio wall — becomes
the work of art itself. This act of displacement/replacement
is a way to reconsider the wall as camouflage, as an artifact,
as a construction, so necessary as backdrop for the work of
art, and so unseen.
Borrowing the format Hans Haacke used in ‘Shapolsky
et al; Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real Social System,
as of May 1, 1971,’ I detail the property and assessment
value of former gallery and artist work spaces as a means
to question the development and investment of ‘cultural
capital’ in Chicago. (Mark Goodman et al; Chicago Real
Estate Holdings as of May 1, 2005,’ investigates the
transformation of Chicago cultural and urban space.)
In ‘Schools for Exceptional Children,’ I combine
the patterns of institutional buildings such as schools, hospitals,
and museums to de-familiarize them. These plans are carved
in relief – in an anti-CAD fashion– to underscore
the labor and efficiency as well as the permanence and efficacy
of the design process and the public function of such spaces.
These ideas carry over into ‘Options’ and ‘Operating’
where my subject is the interior renovation plans for the
Chicago Board Options Exchange and The MacArthur Foundation
offices by the Chicago-based firm of Powell/Kleinschmidt.
I use the private offices of financial generating and granting
institutions to question the user-friendliness and accessibility
of art as an institution and painting as objects that solicit
and prohibit a viewer’s engagement and interpretation.