18 July – 12 August 2012
Marginal Utility Gallery is proud to present HOOVERVILLE TORQUED ELLIPSE, new work by ABIGAIL DEVILLE as its last project in a series of exhibitions for FIRST AMONG EQUALS at the ICA in Philadelphia.
Through the referencing of a canonical sculpture from recent art history, combined with an awareness of social issues and an interest in the movement of solar bodies, Deville has produced a work that is situated between considerations of subjectivity and the sublime.
This project has been produced within a moment of vast economic inequality where homelessness is reaching record highs. DeVille’s use of modest materials such as recycled lumber and cardboard is situated in direct contrast to the permanence and implied heroism encoded within Richard Serra’s use of core 10 steel. Serra’s artwork is about artwork that refers to itself in a closed circuit. DeVille’s ellipse complicates the nature of the original form by inserting social content and framing it within a contrasting context. Unlike Serra’s ellipses that will probably outlast the institutions in which they are currently housed, DeVille’s structure will be recycled at the same recycling center (RAIR) in which it was fabricated, thus completing a circle within the recycling stream.
I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
—Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Deville presents the viewer with a visible representation of the invisible. This gesture is an ongoing thread within DeVille’s work that attempts to give a voice to people within American society whose stories and narratives have continually been overlooked. DeVille looks at the entirety of a historical situation and marks how it is incessantly cyclical. Like Serra’s work about work, the form of the ellipse is re-inscribed with a counter narrative about the making and unmaking of monumentality.
Hooverville Torqued Ellipse is made with recycled materials from Revolution Recovery, LLC as part of the RAIR (Recycled Artist-In-Residency). We would like to thank Billy Dufala and Lucia Thome for making this project possible. Billy and Lucia worked with Abigail to build this large scale sculpture with their extraordinary skills, pride and care