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

Teen Summer Workshop Series
Our Mission

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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John Carson



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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John Carson, a multi-media artist, came to Pittsburgh in 2006 to become the Head of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. While this exhibition represents Carson’s Pittsburgh museum debut, his impromptu performances and sound pieces have been experienced and immensely enjoyed throughout the community at local gatherings throughout the city. Here Carson has installed a series of photographs based on close-ups of scrapes, scratches, and dents on cars. The viewer, however, might be caught unawares by the element of illusion: aside from the clues given by the works’ titles (the names of brands of cars), the images could easily be mistaken for abstractions or satellite images of earth. Meditations on life and death, as well as clever interpretations on the notion of landscape, Carson’s photographs depict partially abstracted vehicular terrains where the line between comfort and catastrophe is just around the corner.

Curated by Heather Pesanti


Gestures 10: Illustrations of Catastrophe & Remote Times, January 18 - June 15, 2008
About The Artist

John Carson received his BFA and an Advanced Diploma in Fine Art from Ulster Polytechnic in Ireland and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts. His artwork includes live performances, installation, and broadcast work on radio and television. He served as the Head of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University from 2006 to 2016. He joined Carnegie Mellon from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, where he was a Principal Lecturer in Fine Arts and Course Director for the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. He directed all stages of full-time and part-time curriculum development, organized the guest lecture program and a professional practice course component, and coordinated placements, external projects, and international exchange.

More from this Artist


Le Sabre




More from this Exhibition

The day was today.

Remote Terrain Observed, 47.3 Kilometers

The Current State of Things at Point A



Aging a Decaying Mill Town

The Black Watch

Executives of Distinction, ASAVAVS reigns here.


The Rift of the Pandimensional Under-Gods: Angaron Meets Colossus

Holy Water



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