Adam Cvijanovic and Peter Garfield: Unhinged
Jan 24 - Apr 29, 2007
Prints & Drawings Gallery
From the Wizard of Oz to X-Men 3, the image of the suburban American home-in-flight has long figured in the vocabulary of collective fantasy. The "high anxiety" of losing one's foundation has not been lost in contemporary art, as artists continue to rethink our psychic ties to the American home and landscape. Unhinged brings together for the first time New York artists Peter Garfield and Adam Cvijanovic, who have each turned the flying home into a metaphor for personal, psychological turbulence.
While rooting his practice in the tradition of 18th-century Venetian painting, particularly Tiepolo's famed ceiling frescos, Adam Cvijanovic's mobile murals on Tyvek├é┬« align themselves as much with the artifice of film sets as with the theatrical illusions of the Baroque. For his series After the End of Gravity (2005-present), Cvijanovic keeps the Venetian palette intact within the modern, post-capitalist dreamscape he envisions where small houses hover quietly behind the swarm of consumerist "stuff" that once filled their walls.
Peter Garfield's series Mobile Homes (1994-99), works to blur the lines between documentary evidence and the patent artifice of photographic production. Within the heavy grain of each photograph, a modest house is suspended above unremarkable suburban terrain-simultaneously threatening either to ascend into orbit or pitch down towards earth. Revising the postmodern conversation about "photographic truth," Garfield's work as staged fiction is further complicated by his production photographs (replete with cranes, helicopters, and a team of workers) which document the fiction behind his artistic process. Blending the realities of the suburban landscape with a fantasy of flight, the works in Unhinged conjure notions of the American dream as well as the specter of divorce, domestic disturbance, and the drudgery of materialism that fuel a corresponding nightmare.
Unhinged is part of the continuing series of MASS MoCA exhibitions presented in conjunction with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams College Graduate program in the History of Art.
Adam Cvijanovic, Suspension of Disbelief (2007). Photo by Kevin Kennefick