In the Dark, Climate-Controlled Room, One Object Says to Another...
02/22/19 — 04/19/19
In the Dark, Climate-Controlled Room, One Object Says to Another… is an exhibition in the form of a partial inventory of reproductions of reproductions of works last-known to be in the collection of the Wexner Center for the Arts. When the Wexner Center opened in 1989, it assumed control over the art collection of The Ohio State University, which at the time consisted of over 3000 objects—ranging from illuminated manuscripts to minimalist and post-minimalist work acquired through grants from the NEA in the 1970’s.
The center’s mission is to be an “international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art.” Established to mount exhibitions and programs focusing on the present and future, this “non-collecting institution” holds in its bowels a hidden collection. It is stored in private, because there is no easy place or procedure to show it. The institution’s mission effectively precludes its display. The collection exist in a liminal state, an air-conditioned open secret biding its time in the dark.
What exactly do the works, purchased with public funds, do in private all day? When they travel to other venues, do they return with stories to tell their cloistered neighbors? When their images and likenesses circulate in catalogues, monographs, and press releases, do they know? If they fall, do they make a sound?
This is a reconstruction of a nonexistent exhibition, with the stand-ins given lives of their own. Let’s see who’s there.