In Wood We TrustThe Chapuisat Brothers
ArtistsTricia Van Eck
Curator6018North, Chicago, Fall 2017
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
The Chapuisat Brothers's In Wood We Trust is a large wooden structure and exhibition venue that transforms our perception of the space it occupies and the people within it. Both an architectural intervention and a residence for its community of builders and visitors, it is a deceptively playful yet dramatic utopian experiment in building community through architecture and art. While the main floor of the structure serves as a pavilion for exhibitions, performances, and gatherings, below and above visitors are invited to physically thread through winding passages, trap doors, and slides, as well as get lost within its intricate maze. Located between architecture, sculpture, and playground, the Chapuisat Brothers's work challenges our perceptions of space, movement, and gravity, while questioning distinctions between architecture, art, work, play, and communal exchange. In the process, it posits that the corporeal and convivial pleasure of experiencing art should not be separated from its visual and intellectual components.
The Chapuisat Brothers both received an artistic education abroad before ending up in Geneva in 2001, where their contrasting experiences led them to develop an interest in spatial studies. Their constructions transform space, turning interior and exterior boundaries inside-out, and toy with the perception of a subjective reality. They demand visitors' active participation, putting them into the position of being an explorer. These environments break down visual and intellectual habits, testing the explorers and obliging them to trust in their senses. Often compared to cocoons or burrows, these installations harbor striking dreamlike powers that can provoke ambiguous emotional reactions in visitors which mingle curiosity, surprise, and discomfort.
Tricia Van Eck is the artistic director of 6018North, where she most recently curated Risky Encounters, an exhibition supported by a Joyce Foundation grant. Other recent exhibitions at 6018North have included critically acclaimed Home: Public or Private, which installed twenty-seven artists in its dilapidated mansion, and the citywide Happiness Project, which received a Propeller Fund grant from Threewalls and the Warhol Foundation. Previously, Van Eck worked for thirteen years at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, organizing more than seventy exhibitions and programs. Some of her projects included Without You I Am Nothing: Art and Its Audience, Theaster Gates: Temple Exercises, Jan Tichy's Project Cabrini Green, and Tino Sehgal's Kiss. She also organized the MCA Chicago’s presentations of various traveling exhibitions, such as Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe, as well as numerous UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work exhibitions, which showcased the work of emerging Chicago artists.
John Preus (lead local carpenter/artist for project) holds an MFA from the University of Chicago (2005) and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2002). He has sixteen years of building and design experience. In 2010, he founded Dilettante Studios, which designs and builds using second-hand materials. Working as creative director for Theaster Gates's Rebuild Foundation, Preus led a crew to rehab Gates's buildings and his Documenta 13 piece. Preus has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Smart Museum of Art. In 2014 Preus will have solo exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center and at Heilbronn Kunstverein in Germany.
Amanda Williams is adjunct associate professor at Illinois Institute of Technology. Her practice explores potential synergies between art and architecture to act as catalysts for socially sustainable cities. She uses painting, photography, architecture, design, and installation as vehicles for investigation. For 6018North she created a site-specific installation and mural as part of her Color(ed) Theory: Englewood in Edgewater project that paints buildings' interiors and exteriors in the colors of African-American commercial establishments. She is currently painting Color(ed) Theory on Englewood houses before they are to be demolished and will reuse the materials at 6018North and other spaces.
Bryan Saner is a woodmaker, performer, and educator. He teaches at Columbia College and has been a member of Goat Island performance group since 1995. Sayner is also a carpenter who runs a furniture making/contracting business. He teaches performance at Goat Island's annual summer schools and has been involved in alternative education throughout his career. From 1980 to 1990 he was the arts director at the Lake View Academy, an alternative high school in Chicago. In 1996 he developed the Sunflower Community School, a family cooperative child-directed elementary school.
6018North is an artist-centered, sustainable, nonprofit platform and venue for innovative and experimental art and culture in Chicago. We challenge what art is, who it's for, and where and how it's created. Founded in May 2011, 6018North supports the creation of adventuresome work that connects multiple disciplines and audiences while promoting artistic excellence. We leverage new ways of connecting to create unforgettable moments that blur boundaries between perceived differences.
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