March 30, 2005
Trade Show Artist to Speak at MASS MoCA April 30
(North Adams, Mass.)-- Pyramid schemes are among the most emotionally and financially damaging cons in the country, yet they're also the most comical. Artist Conrad Bakker's pyramid marketing scheme pitches a functionless product with the straight face of scam marketeering. The Untitled Product Distribution Network is the latest in Bakker's series of Unititled Projects, whose past forms included sculptures for sale on streetside folding tables and paintings for auction through ebay. The sale of these commodities comes bundled with implicit (and sometimes hilariously blatant) critiques of the business paradigms they are modeled after. Bakker, one of the artists featured in MASS MoCA's current exhibition Trade Show, will discuss his work and answer questions at MASS MoCA on Saturday, April 30, at 1 P.M. in MASS MoCA's Club B-10.
Conrad Bakker lives and works in Urbana, Illinois, teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the School of Art and Design. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally in places like the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Fargfabriken Center for Contemporary Art and Architecture (Stockholm, Sweden), Southern Exposure (San Francisco, California), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and Art in General (New York City).
In 2000 he received a Creative Capital Foundation project grant, which enabled the production of the Untitled Mail Order Catalog, a fully functional mail order catalog selling carved and painted replicas of typical mail order items (binoculars, nose-hair trimmers, etc.) Bakker's ongoing Untitled Projects engage a variety of social and consumer contexts. With his formal play and imperfect carving and painting techniques, he intends to evoke humor and a sense of contextual awareness. Ultimately Bakker views his work as an attempt to identify the complexity of what it means to exist in a society based on consumption and the artifice of popular culture.
Organized by Rebecca Uchill, an intern from the Williams College-Clark Art Institute Graduate Program in the History of Art, Trade Show is part of the continuing series of MASS MoCA exhibitions presented in collaboration with the Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams/Clark Graduate program in the History of Art.
Admission to In Conversation with Conrad Bakker is free with museum admission but reservations are required and can be made by calling the MASS MoCA Box Office at 413.662.2111 from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Members are admitted free to the gallery and the talk.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113