Against the Way Things Go
Curated by Andrea Hill
Thursday June 23rd – Saturday July 29th, 2011
David Adamo, Michael DeLucia, David Kennedy Cutler, Yui Kugimiya, Virginia Overton, Mariah Robertson, Peter Simensky, Luke Stettner, Jason Tomme, Julia Weist, Joe Winter
Objets inanimés, avez-vous donc une âme qui s’attache à notre âme et la force d’aimer? Inanimate objects, could it be you have a soul that clings to our own soul and compels it to love?
-Alphonse de Lamartine
Everyday, functional objects have been known to transcend utility and enter into heightened subjective relationships with their possessors. Passionate gestures of devotion have ensued with a woman recently marrying the Eiffel Tower and another woman, the Berlin Wall. Art objects refuse to be defined by use value or ownership, but they can inspire collusion with those who made them and those who view them. Against the Way Things Go spotlights the artistic process as having inherently performative qualities and considers the art object as
the medium for transference. The selected works resonate with human experience, whereby their makers physically wrestled them into existence, developed elaborate material processes, reincarnated the objects into new contexts, or presented an opening for the viewer to complete the work, resulting in objects that cannot be separated from the gestures of its own making.
The exhibition title recollects the 1987 Fischli and Weiss video The Way Things Go documenting a sustained, nearly 30-minute causal chain of events acted upon quotidian objects setting each other into motion. The video traces how objects predictably behave according to the laws of motion, gravity and chemistry but compels the viewer a step further into believing in the magic of objects performing on their own accord. A suspension of rationality is also required to exempt the art object from the laws of Newtonian physics. Against the Way Things Go disrupts classifications between strict performance and object making while addressing time, audience and immateriality -- key principles of performance. It merges the object with the event in a liberated approach where performance is integral in the making of objects, the object is merged with performance, inert matter becomes the subject of performance and the object self-documents its own history.