Art History 2 – A Days Work

On March 21, 2017, I visited the Cohen Gallery to see A Day’s Work, an exhibition featuring the work of Nick Tobier and Rebekah Modrak.

The gallery was split up between the two artists. Tobier’s portion of the gallery consisted of a video playing called Marvelous Guests, this video showed people performing actions in areas that they did not fit in. The first clip that played when I walked in showed an elderly woman and man performing yoga in a cafe. The elderly couple perform their yoga not interrupting the customers and even allowing people to join them if they wish.The hustle and bustle of the cafe as the man behind the counter makes peoples coffee is a stark contrast in comparison to the man and woman doing yoga. It creates a nice juxtaposition that you wouldn’t normally think of mixing a sense of calm and chaos in one video.

This video was very reminiscent to the ideas of post-modernism. Combining the elements of calm and chaos showing people in these random areas allowing the two different kinds of activities to clash. The video itself is striking against the normal way of society saying that working out in a library or doing yoga in a cafe, though weird, is not illegal to do. It is breaking against the norm and challenging what the viewer sees and relates to. It may feel out of place or uncomfortable but there is nothing inherently wrong with what they are doing.

Rebekah Modraks side of the gallery was a satirical look at a company she made called Re Made Co.; this company is a parody of a company that makes axes called Best Made Co.  Re Made Co. took the idea of creating axes and instead made plungers, using the same pain on the plungers wooden handle as Best Made Co. used on the axe handle. Not only that but the ads created for this fake company emulated the same masculinity that Best Made Co. was trying to create. Modrak even created testimonies talking about how great the plunger was and how much it really helped the user, this provides a humorous juxtaposition to the piece.  Modrak even went as far as to create a side by side advertisement that is an exact copy of the original. All the way from having the actor wear the same outfit to what he talks about and how he handles the plunger, showing how close to the source material this parody is supposed to be.

Re Made Co. seems to take many ideas from Dadaism, finding something that was pre-created and approaching it with satire. Using the ideas of destroying one thing to recreate something new not only in the form of pictures, advertisements, and testimonies, but also in video form. Modrak took a whole company and flipped it upside down on their heads. She also mocks the ideas of Best Made Co. and how it tries to sell an axe, claiming it is unique and different, that is just like any ordinary axe.

This entry was posted in Lectures and Workshops, Non-Timebased, Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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