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After School

Teen Summer Workshop Series
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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Emil Lukas

27 Correspondents


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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In Emil Lukas’s installation, 27 Correspondents, visitors experience the space by carefully slipping through a room populated by floor-to-ceiling sculptures. Lukas’ work addresses concepts of pressure, opposing forces, gravity, relationships, shape, texture, scale, architectural elements, and positive versus negative space. Plotting a course through the installation, viewers encounter thin wooden planks wedged between the floor and the ceiling. Lukas includes objects at the top and bottom of each individual piece that relate one to another, such as a flower pressing found on the floor, with the actual dried flower affixed to the paper above. Additionally, Lukas includes a negative plaster cast of a volleyball placed on the floor, with a photograph of the girls’ volleyball team Lukas coaches wedged between the ceiling and the wooden support. Although each individual sculpture may be viewed as independent from the other 26, visitors may also experience each sculpture as a segment in a continuing timeline or an implied narrative—each component affecting the other. The installation provides multiple navigation paths, shifting the viewer’s attention from ceiling to floor, as well as laterally. The work addresses proxemic relationships through space, as well as through narrative time.


Messages & Communications: October 2, 2005 – April 2, 2006
About The Artist

Emil Lukas was born in Pittsburgh, PA and received his BFA from Edinboro University. He held his first solo exhibition in 1985 and has hosted a solo exhibition every year since. He has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

His work resides in collections including, the Anderson Collection, Stanford University; Baltimore Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK; Dakis Joannou Collection, Greece; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Panza Collection, Italy; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

Endless Self-Portrait / Portrait of an Audience

A Small Patch of Earth

For Stuart Callan. 1962-2005


Passion or Politics

Mapping Sampsonia Way


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