Contraption: Devices in Art

Exhibit Dates: 
Feb 17, 2012 - Jun 24, 2012
DuPont I Gallery

Contraption is a thematic exhibition featuring outlandish sculptural inventions made from an array of materials and moving parts. With participatory artworks that prompt visitor interaction, the exhibition stimulates the senses while inviting critical engagement.

Cynthia Norton’s Dancing Squared puts an electric “spin” on a rural American tradition. Artist and mad-scientist Tim Eads takes us back to our potentially rustic future with his covered wagon time machine. In Cross-Culture Tyler Held “tricks out” the trappings of domesticity, turning a cold kitchen stove into a booming stereo system for Atlanta-based gangsta rap. Grant Cox’s Totally Hot! shows an old treadmill and a girl’s bike suspended in mid-air, giving new meaning to “exercising disbelief.” Tracy Featherstone’s fashionable “side-bump” devices may prompt conversation on what not to wear. A play on “getting it up,” Lauren Ruth’s people-powered chocolate fountain, Yes, Please, Thank You truly needs a hand to show us how sweetly it moves and Joanie Turbek’s Go With the Flow gently slaps us in the face with a slow-motion chase for the almighty dollar.

A dynamic display of physics, electronic, and mechanical engineering, Contraption highlights artists who transform ordinary objects into elaborate gadgets and provocative machines. Whimsical and clever, each work explores metaphors of movement to present diverse perspectives on various aspects of culture. Our obsession with female beauty and male virility, ideas of suburban and geographic identity, and rampant consumerism are but a few of the pressing issues that emerge through these artists’ strangely captivating contrivances. 

- Curated by Maiza Hixson, 

Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art

Artists: Tim Eads, Tracy Featherstone, C. Grant Cox, III, Tyler Held, Cynthia Norton, Lauren Ruth, and Joanie Turbek.