Blaffer Art Museum
Groupthink features a handful of large sculptures and a projected video accompanied by viewing bleachers. The works, which use the rhetoric and visual language of self-improvement, corporate retreats, cult indoctrination, and sleep studies, are as much an environment as a set of objects. Dream Machine, a column of glowing emoticons, alludes to digital communication, the Okay Mountain logo, and various stages of feeling. Trust Staircase brings community building exercises and cathartic rituals—like faith leaps and hot-coal walks—together with a progressive sequence of sardonic self-affirmations. The final step ends in a grammatical error. Bunk Beds invokes collective sleeping scenes found in barracks, prisons, and dormitories. The cots, equipped with pillows, sheets, and hypnotic images of a serene landscape, are conspicuously deprived of mattresses and function as props in an unnamed study, a fact made evident through the use of one-way mirroring. Instructional Video follows several anonymous, gray-clad actors as they demonstrate tasks described in prosaic voice-over. Cooking, cleaning, and administering medical aid are presented as bland, yet eerie, activities best performed according to the specific guidelines provided. Ideas of collective and communal living are referenced throughout.
Watch Instructional Video, 2011 here.