EXHIBITIONS

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PAST EXHIBITION

Kim Faler, Stacy Fisher, and Joan Linder
Functional Shift

SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2011

Mixed Greens is thrilled to present work by Kim Faler, Stacy Fisher, and Joan Linder in the exhibition Functional Shift. Whether you believe art’s function is dedicated to communication, social inquiry, political change, healing, or entertainment, the goal of many artists is to inspire viewers to stop for a moment and see the world in a new way—to shift perspectives slightly. All three artists in this exhibition use familiar, functional objects to recalibrate the viewer’s expectations.

In her sculptural installations, Kim Faler purposefully introduces shifts in context, material, and perspective to facilitate the transformation of familiar objects, allowing them to break apart. Upon first glance, her pieces are items from our everyday lives, hung, placed, or strewn in familiar disarray. However, upon closer inspection, the items are crafted from unconventional materials, drawing attention to seams, irregularities, a-symmetries, and relationships we often take for granted. She’s replicated a table’s surface stains out of paper, a mid-century Eames chair from drywall, a chandelier from wax, and a staircase out of soap. Many of her works change—through melting, dripping, or dissolving—so that the objects we expect to remain static are altered with each new encounter.

Stacy Fisher’s work is less representational than Faler’s or Linder’s, but her sly nod to furniture and function resonates through her choice of materials and installation. The wood grain, chains, framing devices, and pedestal-like components of her pieces straddle the worlds of abstraction and representation. Her black and white objects, placed carefully on the floor, for instance, seem to represent a series of specific tools laid out in anticipation of a job, or a ritual considered for maximal impact. Although their shapes only allude to function and their materiality only tangentially implies use, Fisher works in an interesting space that inspires the viewer to think of abstraction and function concurrently.

Finally, Linder will present a large-scale drawing of the Gross Anatomy Lab’s office at the University of Buffalo. The office, full of furniture, shelves, family photographs, and stacks of papers, is a representational record drawn on a one-to-one scale. But it is not Linder’s intention to merely represent this private office, situated next to a lab full of cadavers. Instead, she uses its immediate familiarity and the banal setting to make the viewer stop for a moment and contemplate the complexity and variety in contemporary life. The clutter reveals a fascinating mix of personal and institutional content. It is a portrait of the office’s inhabitant and a poignant portrayal of one way to manage death. The hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of tiny lines involved in creating such representation signifies the slow process through which Linder really examined, exposed, and analyzed her subject.

Faler, Fisher, and Linder are fascinated by the white noise in our everyday lives—the functional objects, tools, and furniture with which we mindlessly interact. These three artists make us stop for a moment and contemplate the significance of the materials and forms that populate our existence.


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