Notched and Uncomfortable
Davis Gerber '14
Exhibition: December 5, 2016 to January 13, 2017
Reception: December 10 at 5 p.m.
"It was a time when the past had lost its sweetness and its sap. You'd go a good long road before you'd find a man, and he very old, who wished to bring back a golden past. Men were notched and comfortable in the present, hard and unfruitful as it was, but only as a doorstep into a fantastic future.”
–John Steinbeck, East of Eden
In this series of sculptures I have explored ways in which I can repurpose found objects to highlight a bold but restrained synthesis between rusted, tarnished, or natural scavenged items and fabricated surrounding environments. Beginning with these objects, novel or mundane as each may be, I aim to construct slightly enigmatic interactions between them and their present surroundings. By placing each selected object as a stroke of 3 dimensional visual nostalgia--embedded, cradled, or breaking through a neutral modern building material, each work becomes a brief moment of cohesion between the old and the new. Despite however successfully cohesive, there will always be a tension between the notched (in one way or another) building material and the object, perched or held in its uncomfortable position. I believe the neutrality of the modern building materials communicate that I have no bias against the future or modernity; I simply wish for focus to always remain on the defining qualities of objects worth appreciating and preserving. Whether through elegance in a simple form, or the appearance an object may retain having endured or been delicately crafted from a time not of this day and age, all possess characteristics that I believe denote beauty, which nowadays may easily be overlooked or forgotten.
I enjoyed the problem solving throughout this series; it challenged the instinctive and calculating process I rely on. My choice mediums also brought a physical challenge as well as intellectual; I found it was often the physically hard or monotonous work that I depended on to focus my mind. In that dependence the process and selected mediums began to assist instilling the very message I aimed to charge each piece with— one of unrelenting hard work, appreciation of fine craft and natural beauty, and a longing to see such attributes remain central in all society.