Exhibition: "Confluence: Tradition in Contemporary Art"
George Segal Gallery, Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA
Exhibition dates: Thursday, October 10 – Saturday, December 7
Featuring work by Andrew Milligan: Inherited Disorders
'Inherited Disorders' - an allegorical architectural sculpture exploring art, design and built environment processes shown at the Confluence: Tradition in Contemporary Art, group show from 10 Oct 2019 - 07 Dec 2019 in the George Segal Gallery and Kasser Theatre of Montclair State University, New Jersey (USA). In phase one of this two-stage ravelling show, 'Inherited Disorders' contributes alongside 31 Scottish and Chinese artists. In phase-two the exhibition moves to Sichuan Fine Art Institute in Chongqing, China opening in April 2020. This sees the participants rise to 46 to coincide with the official launch of the Chinese Global Centre for Art, Design and Innovation.
'Inherited Disorders' -appropriates the cultural archetype of the chair in a dizygotic pairing (i.e., non-identical twins) of two full-scale skeletal sculptures which seek points of confluence and reference between genetics and creativity expressed through the lens of a spatial design process. Concerned with an aesthetic conjoining of the terms prototype and the genotype these two skeletal objects are punctuated by gaps (glitches in the DNA code), extension (growths), rebates (tumours) and other anthropomorphic aberrations that infer the mutated rump, bent knee and broken joints of its constituent parts. In keeping with the pairing characteristics of the Cultural Genes exhibition, this dizygotic allusion also resonates with other genetic insights ‘’…when we think of gene expression for a given trait, it has to do with the gene-pairs…”. As such, the genetic pairs in Inherited Disorders offers US and Chinese curators display permutations that could remain static or dynamic and mutating throughout an exhibition programme - a dizygotic display strategy? The archetypical nature of the chair offers opportunities for interpretive pairings - as sculpture or design, as a product of the unconscious or a product of manufacture, of utility or symbolism that “…create[s] a new situation, and therefore a new meaning or set of meanings for a familiar image.” Partly allegorical in nature, Inherited Disorders reveals the creative poiesis that Heidegger referred to as a 'bringing-forth' inherent in the drawing, digital modelling and fabrication and carpentry processes used to bring forth this project. Such craft, techne, or the 'know-how' also reveals gaps between the hands-on crafting of many artist makers and the peculiar dependence on other makers critical to the production of contemporary interiors and architecture that make the Vitruvian virtues of utilitas, firmitas, venustas problematic and raising larger craft questions of provenance and ownership in buildings. Functional and culturally symbolic, the chair is also a bodily and a boundary-device concerned with territory, ritual and ownership and bound up in an inherent and ordered spatial system. Irrespective of its individual or collective use the chair reveals habitual traces through its occupation. These lend themselves to further genetic and dizygotic allusions - pairing body to object; object to ritual and ritual to space. As a carrier and a transmitter of meaning, the chair is a signifier of status and ceremonial focal-point whose cultural position is dynamic but whose corporeal utility is oddly sedentary and relatively static in what Cranz would perhaps describe as antithetical to the active body. We are not designed to sit. By altering the chairs DNA the act of sitting ceases to operate but evolves into a new entity whose function is to trigger reflection between viewer and exhibited object.
There is a printed publication for this exhibition, also entitled Confluence: Tradition in Contemporary Art published by Montclair State University, 72 pp, printed in two languages, English and Chinese, with an ISBN: 978-0-578-56913-0