Mythic 20th century machinery reinhabits our imagination

Opening April 23, 2015


101 S. Garland

Orlando, Florida

Andarko - Home Operations

An Opening Reception will be held Thursday, April 23, 2015 for Richard Reep’s exhibition, curated by the University of Central Florida Fine Arts Gallery, at CANVS.  The reception will be from 6-9pm and is free and open to the public.

The ocean is rising.  Low-lying cities like Venice, Amsterdam, and Miami are already feeling the effects of our climate change, and sustainability is, in these urban areas, a race against time.

Oil, in the meantime, is the other major influence on our culture.  Icons of this hydrocarbon bonanza – oil rigs – are a reference to this specific time.  These technological wonders float upon the sea, sucking oil from the depths.  Poised between these two fluids, they symbolize the razor’s edge upon which we teeter.  Rendered in false-gloriosity, Veslefrikk (an imaginary oil rig based on actual North Sea equipment) is like petroleum pornography, our dependence on non-renewable resources laid bare.

It is only with the perspective of our current times (which I call urban feudalism) do we look back upon the era of modernism, and consider books, cast steel casings, raw concrete, fluorescent light lenses, and other items to be obsolete. We believe that the phenomena of our new life-world is better (computers, LED lights, lightweight plastics, mag-lev suspensions), just as we believed that radio, electric lights, Bessemer steel, and petroleum-based products were better a century ago.

Together, these projects exploit some of the overlooked meaning of which our life-world is capable. Neither virtual, nor artificed, nor particularly finished, they represent a moment in time where discarded wood, books, and pieces of equipment are reinvented, and serve a new purpose, while still retaining their original form. Perhaps this can give hope to people in the process of reinventing themselves to adjust to the realities of our current times.

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