"A form which resists facts..." | Art Sidebar | Chicago Reader

"A form which resists facts..." 

Zachary Cahill's art of profusion in USSA 2012: The Orphanage Project


Discussing his horror-vacui installation Das Auge (The Eye), Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn told Gregory Burke of the Power Plant gallery in Toronto, "I want to give a form which resists facts, which resists opinion and which goes beyond actuality. . . . The eye doesn't need to know—the eye just sees and that's what counts." Similarly, Zachary Cahill's USSA 2012: The Orphanage Project is designed to present a profusion of information and artifacts adding up to neither a consistent formalism nor a coherent concept. Journal entries visually and verbally record experiences at a hypothetical orphanage; handwritten notes—"In the afternoons art class provided some semblance of control," "To disclose the amount of control would be to disclose something like the face of love"—allude to the manipulation of the vulnerable, alienated, supervised inmates. Images of bears scattered throughout the exhibit hint at both apocalyptic and revolutionary overtones. In addition to the entries (which can be viewed at three-walls.org), there are photos, posters, and freestanding sculpture. A take-away zine contains sketches, an interview, documentation for the project, and a CD soundtrack.

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