The Way Things Work

Saturday, April 9th, 2011-Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Curator: Didi Dunphy | Assistant Curator: Megan Kluttz

1304710225_Front L (Dan Grayber)
Dan Grayber, Rosebowl Mechanism (2007), Mixed Media,
with Cody VanderKaay’s Telegraph Series in the background
1304710512_WP entire
Will Pergl, Trivialities of Deportment VI (2011), Mixed Media, 174″ x 266″ x 448″

This colorful and spectacular exhibit features large-scale installation, indoor and outdoor sculpture, drawings, videos and sound art by 11 national and international artists. All of these artists create works that respond to the systems we subscribe to as a culture, revealing and deconstructing norms.

Selected from over 300 submissions, their works investigate a wide range of subject matter – from a meandering and lyrical installation referencing building construction to small drawings mapping the intricacies of lottery ticket predictions. In doing so they reveal how we classify the world around us in fascinating, surprising and amusing ways.

Details from Julia Oldham’s series, from left to right: Midge, Katydids, Dragger, Stridulation, Pull

Two of the artists address the natural sciences; one plots the activities of katydids and spiders while another interprets the (dis)logic of government through sheep herding. Others diagram human accomplishments; one artist’s music composition is based on a famous chess match, while another translates passages from Macbeth into Morse code.

Some of the artists focus on engineering and its’ processes: there are small glass vessels encasing mechanical devices, faux buttresses that appear to hold up the very walls of the Chase Park Warehouse building, and a slide show of 81 variations of an IKEA chair pack!

Images from Andrew Sunderland’s Cahir, from left to right: Cahir Slide 9, Cahir Slide 23, Cahir Slide 30, Cahir Slide 76

From architectural schematics of fantastical cities to the sound of a city library’s microfiche room, The Way Things Workorganizes disparate yet intimately inter-related concepts into a stimulating and complex whole, one that will provoke viewers’ curiosity about the world they live in.

The two featured artists, Will Pergl and Dan Grayber hail from Wisconsin & San Francisco respectively. Pergl’s Trivialities of Deportment is a site-specific sculptural work, reconfigured wherever it is installed. Here it will reach up to ATHICA’s tall ceilings, enveloping its wooden beams and far corners. Quoting the aesthetics of building construction, his work flaunts both a minimalist pedigree and a whimsical sensibility. His installation will create an environment that makes viewers feel as if they are entering into a large physical drawing, heightening their awareness of our shared presence in the space.

In contrast, works from Dan Grayber’s Mechanism Series appear to quietly fight to hold themselves up in the glass containers that house them. Both delicate and strong, they are spring-loaded mechanisms. While objects are usually designed to fulfill prescribed needs, Grayber’s sculptures, each its own unique invention, are autonomous.


Participating Artists

Atanas Bozdarov (Brampton, ON), Robert Ladislas Derr (Columbus, OH), Andrea Flamini (Kansas City, MO), Ernesto R. Gómez (Athens, GA), Dan Grayber (San Francisco, CA), John O’Connor(Queens, NY), Julia Oldham (Eugene, OR), Will Pergl (Milwaukee, WI), Andrew Sunderland(London, UK), Cody Vanderkaay (Detroit, MI), Andy Moon Wilson (Atlanta, GA)