Curated by Jacob Rhodes
Opening: Thursday, Jan. 26th 6-8pm
Dates: Jan. 26th - Feb 5th
By appointment after Sunday Jan. 29th
Field Projects is pleased to present its second exhibition Squeeze Machine, curated by Jacob Rhodes, and featuring work by Leah Bailis, Pete Deevakul, Lucy Kim, Heidi Lau, Willie Wayne Smith, Emily Stoddart, Bill Thomas and Oliver Warden. Using Temple Grandin’s ‘hug machine’ as a key point of departure, Squeeze Machine considers artist investigations into collective anxiety.
Temple Grandin is an autistic livestock consultant, world renowned for her changes to the cattle industry. The idea for the hug machine was inspired by rancher's use of squeeze chutes when inoculating cattle. She realized that the confined pressure of the chute had a calming effect on the cow and created a similar model for her own use. The pressurized hug of the squeeze machine worked to calm her physical anxiety and aversion to being touched. Likewise, the works in this show are products of a process of tension and resolve. Through individual rituals, humor, personal narratives, virtual reality, and mechanical experimentation, the artists in Squeeze Machine produce the relief of Grandin’s mechanical hug.
Whether the body is distorted by liquid as in Willie Wayne Smith’s painting or an industrial tinfoil body mold flattened like an animal skin by Lucy Kim, the body remains key to the artists in this exhibition. Bill Thomas confronts us with his gaze, while he is trapped in a home-made suicide device while Emily Stoddart smashes paint between layers of acetate in her abstracting and obscuring the familiar. Heidi Lau's ceramic objects simultaneously echo miniature fantasy fiction caves and skeletal remains caught in the process of slowly sealing itself off, collapsing into smaller and smaller spaces. Lastly, Oliver Warden slips into video game space to capture the sky and then folds it in on itself, leaving us with an abstract vortex. This exhibition outlines the mysterious nature of our body's wiring: anxiety, sexuality, pleasure, and pain are an indivisible mass that shapes our very sense of reality.
The gallery will hold an opening reception Thursday, January 26th, from 6-8pm. The gallery is open to the public Friday-Sunday 12-6 and by appointment during the week.