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  • Power Object: The Future Has a Primitive Heart

Power Object: The Future Has a Primitive Heart

March 12, 2015

Throughout the history of mankind, the objects have had a special status in humans’ attempts to understand the world around them. Humans have always had the desire for a dazzling feeling of richness, for the feeling of wonder at the world and the experience of life. They’ve been well aware of their own mortality, while the objects have been perceived as something eternal. Art is only one expression of humans’ tendency for the transcendence. Objects such as stones, bones, rocks, grains of sand – all of them have had religious, mythical and totem roles. And many of those objects were decorated, hoping that the unnatural forces would give purpose to mortal nature of humans. Aesthetics have always been supporting feature, but the essence was in the object itself. The objects are powerful, and exactly this thesis is central to the extraordinary group exhibition entitled Power Objects: The Future Has a Primitive Heart that will be on view at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids.

Power Object: The Future Has a Primitive Heart
Elijah Burgher – Be Like Orpheus (detail), 2013

The Power of Objects

The objective of both the artist and the viewer has been the same over 17,000 years, from pre-historic cave paintings to the Post-Internet Art. Art objects are designed to express and connect to the sublime, the transcendental, the most powerful forces and instincts that animate human existence. Two collectors from Chicago, Josh Rogers and Lesley Weisenbacher, have focused on the power of objects, and they have assembled a collection that explores the various ways in which living artists are interpreting and making new power objects. These objects do not necessarily represent relicts from past; they express contemporaneity and resistance to the passing of time. As the curator of the Power Objects, Ryan Kortman explains, the definitions of a power object were traditionally focused on artifacts made from natural materials such as stone or bone. But this exhibition includes also the interpretation of contemporary art objects.

Power Object: The Future Has a Primitive Heart
Left: David Pappaceno – Absaroka, 2011 / Right: Mariano Chavez – Innana, 2014

The Future Has a Primitive Heart

At this exhibition, the works from the collection of Josh Rogers and Lesley Weisenbacher will be on view. Viewers can expect to see a variety of mediums represented at the show, including painting, sculpture, and photography. The methods of production also vary, from traditional approaches to painting and drawing to 3D printed sculpture and airbrush. However, all works are dealing with the power of objects. The artists featured in this exhibition include: Elijah Burgher, Mariano Chavez, Dan Douke, Ron Ewert, Ben Foch & Chelsea Culp, Andrew Guenther, James Krone, Jason Lazarus, Robert Montgomery, Rachel Niffenegger, David Pappaceno, Josh Reames, Jacques Louis Vidal, Wendy White, Eric Yahnker, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.

Power Object: The Future Has a Primitive Heart
Ancient Anthropomorphic Tool – Indian, 5th-9th

Power Objects at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

At the exhibition entitled Power Objects: The Future Has a Primitive Heart, works from the collection of Josh Rogers and Lesley Weisenbacher will be displayed. This is the first and only scheduled exhibition of these works. Special event will take place on May 8th, Collector’s Talk and Catalog Signing, a discussion with Power Object’s collector, Joshua Rogers, and Miranda Krajniak, UICA Executive Director. The Power Objects exhibition catalog, featuring photos of the included works and essays from collectors, will be published for this occasion. The show Power Objects: The Future Has a Primitive Heart will be on view from March 14th, until May 15th, at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), in Grand Rapids.

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Power Object: The Future Has a Primitive Heart
Elijah Burgher – Be Like Orpheus , 2013

Featured Image: Mariano Chavez – First Date, 2008

All Images courtesy of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.

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