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Art & Art History

Take Me In.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006–Saturday, December 23, 2006
Gallery 400
400 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL 60607

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Take Me In., an MFA thesis exhibition by Rick Gribenas, relies on the inherent architecture of the gallery space; because of its everyday changes and transformations, the dwelling compounds the viewer ’s knowledge of the artist ’s intentions. For the exhibition, Gribenas presents a single piece, a study of stillness in a bustling space divided by bodies, staccato, and time. The work illuminates the gallery with ambient light. A linear series of seven LCD screens emits blurred shifting light collected from a set of sensors that monitor the natural light just outside the gallery. Opposing the LCDs on the other side of the gallery: a set of high pressure sodium fixtures were mounted behind the gallery wall and were invisible to the viewer, except for the orange light spilling into the gap between the top of the stand-alone wall and the ceiling of the gallery. Gribenas’s minimal gestures offer up a suspension, lifting noise and distortion, transporting the viewer into a moment of hope and quiet.

Using a network of media to explore and enhance the gallery, Gribenas manipulates the variable of flickering light, heightening the viewer ’s perceptions and sensory experiences. The resulting work calls for autonomous participants who directly engage with the piece in the search for an awareness of what is hidden. Running 24-hours a day and visible from both inside and outside the gallery, Take me in. conjoins interior and exterior, offering the mind and body a potential transcendence. The artist asks us to believe that suspension is possible.

Gribenas’s exhibition is presented as the culmination of two and a half years of work toward an MFA in Studio Arts. He has published a book, Participatory Autonomy, as the written companion to his thesis exhibition.