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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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Michael Olijnyk

Untitled Installation


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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Vertical glass plates, 2' x 3', pressed between ascending stacks of unmortared bricks, are held in tension by one long, white cord, drawn through eye rings, stretched from a wood frame to the floor to the ceiling to more glass plates which hug the wall, halfway between floor and ceiling. The rope tightly zig-zags between glass edges and pulleys mounted on the walls, before returning to the ceiling.

Disturb any element and the work will collapse.

Through a doorway in an adjoining, dimmer room, the grating noise of glass under pressure threatens from a tape player. Words in mirrored lettering warn: Caution. Beware. Careful. Danger.

Artist Statement

This work is made of recognizable materials such as concrete, wood, rope, and glass. These materials are combined into a construction that totally interconnects: any physical change would effect the entire structure. You are asked to understand this and realize that your response could alter or even destroy it. There is an element of danger.


Factory Installed: May 8 – August 14, 1982
About The Artist

Michael Olijnyk studied design, painting, and sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University before becoming Curator of the Mattress Factory in 1978. He has worked closely with more than 600 Mattress Factory artists, and he is responsible for implementing the Museum’s artistic residency program. In 2008, Olijnyk was appointed Co-Director, sharing leadership with Barbara Luderowski. After the passing of Barbara Luderowski in 2018, Olijnyk led the Museum as Executive Director.

Olijnyk serves as an active leader in the arts community, participating in symposia for organizations such as Rice University, Chautauqua Institution, and the International Sculpture Conference. He served as a Juror for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

Rainforest Diptych

44 Installations at the Mattress Factory


Give artists the time, space and resources to create remarkable works of art that help us see our world in new ways.

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