Collection in Focus: The Problem With Objects, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
A talk given on selections from the Henry's Small Scale Sculpture collection.
In our built environment, it is very hard to identify an object that is not, in one way or another, in service within its culturally determined role. The overarching utility of objects, and our expectation of acting out that utility, primarily defines the way we assign value to the objects we surround ourselves.
These cultural expectations seep into the content and perception of contemporary sculpture. Through linkages in material, process, and aesthetics, the language of utilitarian objects cross-pollinate with the non-utilitarian, disorienting our cultural assumptions regarding the autonomy, use value, and authenticity of the sculptural object.