Contained
Date: 
Saturday, February 18, 2012 (All day) to Thursday, March 22, 2012 (All day)
Reception date: 
Friday, February 17, 2012 - 6:00pm
Hours open: 
Monday-Friday 11 AM - 6 PM, Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM
Venue: 
Gallery
Press quotes: 
Contained Coffee Talk with Katie Phelps, Zack Bent, Joshua Bloch, and Karen Hackenberg. Sunday, March 11 at 11AM. $5 suggested donation at the KAC Gallery.
Curator: 
Katie Phelps

Artists: Michelle Anderst, Mark Bennett, Zack Bent, Joshua Bloch, Eduardo Calderón, Karen Hackenberg, Elizabeth Halfacre, Amy Hamblin, Victoria Haven, Terry Leness, Colin Tuis Nesbit
 
Physical Vessels and Metaphorical Manifestations
We are surrounded by containers. They influence how we organize, preserve, and understand the world around us. From our homes to our bodies, Contained looks at the containers in our lives and examines the ways that objects shape us, and how we use them to ground our ideas and memories.
 
We use containers to organize our lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in our homes. Houses are places that not only contain most of the artifacts of our lives, but whose very floor plans are composed of our personalities. The power of this show-and-tell is evoked in Mark Bennett’s Home of Jed “J.D” Clampett (the Beverly Hillbillies). The blueprint of this home contains spaces that symbolize wealth and sophistication; we use this series of containers to sketch an opinion of the home’s fictitious owner – hillbilly Jed Clampett. Just as we make assumptions based on other people’s homes, we use the rooms of our homes to display and celebrate the public aspects of our lives, while simultaneously concealing things we wish to remain private.
 
We also use containers to preserve things that are important to us. Preserving an object in a container changes it’s meaning, and so sometimes our impulse to conserve backfires. Greenlake #5 sheds light on this contradiction, illustrating the negative impact of our protective measures. The fence, erected to preserve the natural setting, interrupts our experience of the beauty of the landscape. To preserve, we have to remove it from its original context. Doing so often elevates our perception of its value and importance. What will future archaeologist make of a plastic water bottle? Karen Hackenberg answers this question with Amphorae c.2010. By equating the plastic bottle with revered containers of ancient Greece, Hackenberg causes us to ponder items that might be left behind from our culture, and what future people might conclude about us.
 
On a basic level, containers organize and preserve the world around us, and we extend these functions to help us manipulate intangible things like thoughts and memories. The children’s forts photographed by Zack Bent are not just hideouts; they embody nostalgia and are physical representations of safety and innocence. We seek to make sense of abstract ideas such as emotion by placing them within a physical container. Although Cardio #3 represents a human organ, it is also evocative of the ways we describe our experience of love. Hearts race with joy and ache with sadness; this comparison gives us a way to articulate complicated emotions. It is in this way that we make the intangible tangible through containers. From physical vessels to metaphorical manifestations, objects are crucial to our process of meaning making. Works in Contained examine this process, and provide new perspectives on the importance of the objects that surround us.
 
Katie Phelps
Emerging Curator Initiative, 2012