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Deposit

Monday, February 09, 1998–Saturday, March 14, 1998

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Deposit is a participant-activated project during Byron Kim’s residency at Gallery 400. For this project, the public is asked to bring in a personal belonging to symbolically cast away over the top of the gallery wall via a tracked ladder. The wall stands three feet away from a bank of windows, which are visible from the street. Throughout the course of the exhibition, objects will accumulate arbitrarily, engaging the private and the public in a mutual process of art making that extends beyond the physical artifacts to include sound. Contributors additionally have the opportunity to describe the significance of the objects they deposit. Audio recordings of their words and voices will be catalogued as a continuous narrative that is projected into the gallery through speakers installed in the wall—a sound tapestry woven into the site that contributes an additional layer of meaning. As the exhibition continues, and materials accumulate, the results will increasingly collapse the gallery’s separate identities, blurring the boundaries between the makers and the receivers of art.

Students, faculty, visitors, art patrons, supervising artists, and facilitating artists drawn from the university and city community: all are invited to participate in the collaboration, resulting in the accretion of a collective memory manifested in physical form. This physicality—a product of singular gestures of release and relinquishment—remains hidden behind the gallery’s walls and visible from the street through windows, situating the viewer both inside and outside of the gallery. Full of playful inversions and blurred boundaries, Deposit works to complicate the relationship of public and private, galleries and communities, and creators and receivers of art. 

Deposit is the second in the “Projects Series” of artist-in-residence collaborations that serve as a social and cultural bridge into the community. The series stems from relationships and resources sustained between students from UIC’s School of Art and Design and visiting artists.

Complementing its traditional role as exhibition and program venue, Gallery 400 is dedicated to partnerships with communities in pursuit of programming initiatives to expand and reframe the history, definition, and application of the arts.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Byron Kim Head ShotByron Kim (born 1961) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In the early 1990s he produced minimalist paintings exploring racial identity. This work consisted of monochrome canvases depicting the skin tones of friends and family. He gained early recognition for Synecdoche, his contribution to the 1993 Whitney Biennial, which embodied the aesthetic and political aspirations of the art in that year’s exhibition. Synecdoche (1991–92) is a grid of four hundred small, monochromatic paintings. Each panel recreates the skin color of an individual who sat for Kim while he painted their portrait. Although the works, at first glance, resemble minimalist paintings of the 1960s, the racial and political dimensions became apparent after reading the explanation of the work in the exhibition catalogue. These monochrome canvases were followed by two- or three-zoned canvases that color-sampled objects, sites, or people. Kim collaborated with artist Glenn Ligon on Black & White (1993), part of a series critiquing the “prejudices” of art materials, specifically the hues of “flesh”-colored tubes of paint. Other works employ a more naturalistic approach to represent details such as the palms of the artist’s hands, or the whorls in his children’s hair. Kim’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (1998), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (1996), and other national and international venues.

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

Byron Kim

Deposit, 1998
Collaborative project with UIC School of Art and Design

Zdanovics, Olga. “Byron Kim.” Art Papers, July–Aug. 1998, p. 41.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

Deposit is made possible by the School of Art and Design, the College of Architecture and the Arts, and supported in part by grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Nathan Manilow Foundation.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard: Deposit – Opening Reception and Artist Discussion

PRESS RELEASE

Byron Kim
Deposit

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
February 9–March 14, 1998

Opening Reception: February 11, 1998, 4–7pm
Artist discussion moderated by Hamza Walker: February 12, 1998, 12pm

A collaboration with Byron Kim and the School of Art and Design, Deposit is a participant-activated exhibition that questions the physical and intellectual accessibility of the gallery/museum/institutional space, generates articulations and meanings of memory and history, and creates an environment for singular and collective experiences of release and relinquishment.

Participants are asked to bring to the exhibition a personal belonging that they will deposit over the top of the gallery wall via a tracked ladder. The wall stands three feet away from a bank of windows that are visible from the street. Throughout the course of the exhibition, objects will accumulate free form, arbitrarily, engaging the private and the public in a mutual process of art making that extends beyond the physical artifacts to include sound. Contributors will have the opportunity to describe the significance of the objects they deposit. Audio recordings of their words and voices will be catalogued as a continuous narrative projected into the gallery from speakers installed in the wall—a sound tapestry woven into the site. As the exhibition continues, and materials accumulate, we expect the results will increasingly collapse the gallery’s separate identity, blurring the boundaries between the makers and the receivers of art. Students, faculty, visitors, art patrons, supervising artists, and facilitating artists drawn from the university and city community: all will be engaged in this collaboration—so that the result is the accretion of a collective memory manifested in physical form. This physicality—a product of singular gestures of release and relinquishment—remains hidden behind the gallery’s walls and visible from the street through windows, siting the viewer both inside and outside of the gallery. Contributors will also include public school groups, who will be invited and scheduled for visits; our neighborhood, which will be canvassed; and the Chicago community at large, which will be targeted through advertisements.

Deposit is the second in a series of artists-in-residence collaborations that serve as a social and cultural bridge into the community. The PROJECTS SERIES has resulted from relationships and resources sustained between UIC students from the School of Art and Design and visiting artists-in-residence. Complementing its traditional role as exhibition and program venue, Gallery 400 is dedicated to partnerships with community interests and agencies in pursuit of programming initiatives to expand and reframe the history, definition, and application of the arts.