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Marvin Touré
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the blood is the water.
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Catalina Schliebener Muñoz
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Deep, Deep Woods
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Isla Hansen
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How to Get to Make Believe
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Andrea Peña
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States of Transmutation
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Asim Waqif
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Assume the Risk
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Shohei Katayama
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As Below, So Above
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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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Allison Smith

Jugs, Pitchers, Bottles, and Crocks, Household Linens and Yardage in Stock

2008

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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Allison Smith’s diverse artistic practice engages in an investigation of the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment and the role of craft in the construction of national identity. Smith uses history as an aesthetic palette to produce sculptural installations and live art events alluding to contemporary social conflicts around notions of gender, art/craft, and war.

Jugs, Pitchers, Bottles, and Crocks, Household Linens and Yardage in Stock is an ongoing project that will grow and change over the duration of the exhibition. Inspired by early American history, living history museums, and the use of decorative objects, textiles, and costumes as narratives of that history, Smith has created a cabinet based on the general store most popular in late 18th and early 19th century America. The relationship between museum and retail store is a timely one. While there is no “for sale” sign for works in this Mattress Factory show, all the artworks are essentially for sale. Smith is interested in art as an alternative economy.

Like a merchant or trader/shopkeeper, Smith presents her wares in a three-sided cabinet that suggests portability. Interactivity is key to the work. She often apprentices with local artisans to learn the skills necessary to realize her projects. Working with ceramic artist Bernard Jakub, Smith created traditional pottery forms including stoneware and redware jugs, crocks, pitchers, plates, and bottles. All of these vernacular, functional forms were primarily utilitarian. Smith is also interested in the rare examples that were commemorative and/or political.

For this project, Smith has taken these early examples (form) and imbued them with contemporary significance (content) choosing images, words, and phrases from our current time period that do not get commemorated. The objects highlight the failures of our government and the precarious state of the natural world – all things that cause anxiety -- like the present war with Iraq, global warming, genetic engineering, and homeland security threats. Smith also created linens for the cabinet. Decorative printed textiles with floral designs repeated motifs and scenes inspire the linens. Smith worked in her own imagery in response to the legacy of propaganda textiles made in wartime.

Curated by Dara Meyers-Kingsley

Exhibition

Inner & Outer Space: April 26, 2008 - January 11, 2009
About The Artist

Allison Smith's diverse artistic practice engages in an investigation of the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment and the role of craft in the construction of national identity. Smith uses history as an aesthetic palette to produce sculptural installations and live art events alluding to contemporary social conflicts around notions of gender, art, and war. She received her MFA from Yale University. Smith has exhibited her work in numerous venues in the United States and abroad, including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Arario Gallery, South Korea; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; and Studio Voltaire, London.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

Untitled

Transparent Brick Wall for Kusama, 2008 (from Light Installations 2002)

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Where do we go from here (from the Orthostatic Tolerance)

kanata

being here

US

OH (2)

OKAY

OH (1)

FLY

DROPTET

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