This week: Special correspondent Philip von Zweck in conversation with artist Zachary Cahill.
USSA 2012: The Orphanage Project
September 9-October 15th, 2011
Opening reception: Friday, September 9th, 6-9pm
Artist talk: Thursday, October 6th, 7pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm
Much of contemporary art is motivated by the relational – a position-cum-buzz-word that has grown to frame nearly every studio and post-studio practice. From performance to installation to sculpture to craft, art is reaching its hand out to the viewer in an attempt to create relationships, at once an attempt at articulating a use-value while making a bid for social relevancy. Peppering these practices is much debate about labor and art, with practices designed to both visualize labor or to celebrate a kind of anti-capitalist leisure. In either case, art is struggling to find its place with-in the demands of a capitalist market, ostensibly cut-off from the promise of other origins via the institutions of the market and the museum.
Zachary Cahill proffers a solution to use-value by his creation of an Orphanage here in Chicago. The Orphanage Project, out of which Cahill’s fall SOLO exhibition arises, looks to examine the position of the ultimate “other” – the mythic Orphan, torn from any root or history and presumably set-free to self-author. Cahill’s Orphans are models, “modes of being” that The Orphanage Project wishes to make relatable through its study in human capital and the condition that awaits all. Cahill’s attempt – whether a failure or temporarily on-hold – is documented through a series of sketches and a few published conversations. For threewalls, Cahill reproduces a few elements of this project, granting access to Cahill’s long-term study.
Circumnavigating the relational through both the formation of the Orphanage and the work done therein, Cahill challenges the idea of relatedness or lack-there-of through the perhaps the ideal red herring: the creation of an institution that both houses potential and has the potential to house everything and all.