Mundane Talismans

June 7, 2014 / Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL

An Exhibition and Silent Auction for STARWALKER, Threewalls' 2014 Fundraiser Gala

In this sacred domain a unique intimacy with things takes place. All surroundings are dispelled by a powerful attraction that propels us into objects like a zoom lens focusing on its target, and we enter a bewitched zone where moments and places navigate alongside one another on a slow-motion carousel whose horses shift with each rise and fall. Only the versatility of thrift shops and old discount stores, where things are at the mercy of those whose lives they constitute, grants forgotten objects the unprecedented freedom of being entirely useless, susceptible to the myriad caprices of onlookers, casual drifters and occasional solicitors. Then, one day, someone comes along who discovers in the iridescence of a vase’s bluish-lilac hue, strewn with wide-winged swans, or in the delicate drawing of bright yellow roses on a musical plate, a long-lost sensation, an ancient melody that imperceptibly carries her up over the street, over the city and across the ocean, to that suspended space which, locked forever in the imagination, receives her into the full embrace of memory.
— Celeste Olalquiaga, The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of Kitsch Experience

A miniature exhibition and silent auction curated for Threewalls’ 2014 STARWALKER fundraiser gala, Mundane Talismans sought to offer non-collecting audiences a means of connecting with the objects on display by invoking the Victorian-era mania for collecting, kitsch, and mysticization wrought by the advent of mass manufacturing.  Mundane Talismans featured select works by Corkey Sinks, and artwork for auction generously donated by Ali AschmanJosh DihleDanny FloydEllen NielsenBobbi MeierNora NievesBetsy OdomJanna Van HasseltErin Woodbrey, and Erin Washington.

The exhibition was accompanied by Aesthetic Divination Machine (ADM), a performance by the Society of Smallness.

 ADM is a system for arriving at provisional interpretations of works of art through psychometric* readings. The ADM, through a bureaucratic process, collects emanations arising from the contemplation of, discussion of, proximity to, or any other type of engagement with works of art. The overall goals of ADM are playful engagement, collaboration with the audience, and creative interpretation.