A Unit of Work

An exhibition of video, sculpture, and performance that take the utilitarian object as a point of departure, resulting in works that investigate the inchoate and absurd, the poetic and oblique.

Santiago Cal's work Some Kind is comprised of over a dozen hand-made hammers and mallets made out of various materials from woods, metal, felt, and leather. Built from the scale of the artist's hand, their functional root is resisted: impossibly slender handles, oversized heads, and other subversions of a useful tool. Heidi Bartlett, in conjunction with the White Monarchs, performed her work Migration. Lasting three hours, fifteen performers wearing hand-made deer masks and all white start walking from different areas in downtown Lincoln. The performers trace their paths in chalk, migrating to Drift Station where, at an appointed time, they will evolve from animal to human form. Jesse Sugarmann's video Red Storm Rising begins with a red automobile on top of a pile of air mattresses within a gallery. Simultaneously turned on, the mattresses slowly elevate and overturn the car, an action which seems to have no purpose or meaning other than the triumph of air over metal.

Also on view were be two objects on loan from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Historical Scientific Instruments Gallery. Specificity and strangeness mark many highly-specialized scientific tools; those that are no longer viable in the lab or field inhabit an interesting space between function, relic, and sculptural object.

Participating artists

Heidi Bartlett, Santiago Cal, Jesse Sugarmann, and items on loan from the UNL Historical Scientific Instrument Gallery.