Now through January 27th, the public is invited to participate in an upcoming installation by NEW/NOW artist, Michael Mahalchick, by donating objects which will become the raw material for his work. Welcomed items include trinkets, hand-made treasures, decorative objects, manufactured goods, etc. If an object could conceivably be found at a garage sale and is of reasonable size, it likely fits the bill. Objects selected for inclusion in the artist’s work will be featured in the upcoming exhibition NEW/NOW: Michael Mahalchick in the Cheney Gallery March 9- June 9, 2013.
The work of Michael Mahalchick defies any one specific definition. Moving seamlessly between the realms of sculpture/assemblage, installation, performance, music and dance, Mahalchick incorporates a self-identified “scavenging” aesthetic or “thrift-store nostalgia” to his work. In utilizing objects of everyday use (or disuse), the artist is free to imbue whatever meaning he sees fit to ascribe, making icons out of the ordinary.
Ever since Duchamp scandalized the world with his Fountain, the concept of the object as art has been a prominent part of our visual lexicon, from Rauschenberg’s gritty Combines to the poetic assemblages of Joseph Cornell. Like Duchamp, Mahalchick’s works call into question meaning and purpose in art and culture. Who holds the power to ascribe meaning in our every day lives and why?
Mahalchick’s invitation to collaborate with the public seems particularly prescient given the increasingly interactive nature of today’s world. With the advent of Facebook, Instagram and Tivo every one of us is both a curator and a critic. The New Britain Museum of American Art invites you to participate, albeit more formally, in the dialogue of making and meaning.Objects should be dropped off at the Museum’s Front Desk during regular public hours through January 20th. Participants are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box in selecting objects for inclusion. Please no dangerous chemicals, deadly weapons, pressurized containers, plants or animals (alive or dead) of any kind, or materials of hazardous, explosive, flammable, perishable, or decaying nature. For any questions about this project, contact Assistant Curator Anna Rogulina. Acceptance of objects is under the discretion of the Museum staff.
NEW/NOW: Michael Mahalchick opens March 9th at the Cheney Gallery, with an Opening Reception scheduled for Sunday, March 10th 1-2:30pm.