CHRIS MADDOX: THE BUREAU OF FORSAKEN PRINTS
Exhibition Dates / January 6th-January 29th, 2017
Opening Reception / January 6th, 5-9P
The Bureau of Forsaken Print is an exhibition of mixed-media installation and book-art works by Madison artist Chris Maddox. The work is based on the form of the palimpsest, a written or printed manuscript from which the content has been scraped away for reuse. The obsolescence of this practice provides an opening through which the substance of printed matter may be gainfully mined for reflective and poetic content. By radically altering ill-favored and obsolete printed matter (in this case pre-internet books), Maddox's work considers the burial of cultural phenomena beneath the fashionable new-fangled, exposing rich currents of insight.*
*Footnote, expansion on “rich currents of insight”, such currents may include, for your meditative pleasure:
An essential nature emerges of emotional melancholy over what is qualitatively lost from memorably-recent but fading culture and ritual.
The transitory qualities of style and fashion crystalize as time makes the signs of ephemerality more easily discernible. Our impulse to escape everyday routine corresponds to fashion's perpetual turnover and its devices and signifiers are embedded into the code of the Bureau's reworked books.
The transfigured objects shift dramatically from vehicles for the delivery or encouragement of core values of consumerism, to precious things of mystery. Their ideology becomes nebulous which makes them intrinsically disruptive. Such a flip in essence between two forms echoes the contrasts between the grotesque and the sublime. The reformed books, being entirely reliant on the everyday objects from which they emerge, allude through such a process to the utter codependence of beauty upon the unsightly—of a contemporary bourgeois society upon the vagrant, and so on. (1)
The scraped codex as manifest by the Bureau of Forsaken Print evokes the mythology of an overpainted artist’s canvas, which embodies the tragedy of lost treasure. But these Forsaken are reluctant to acquiesce their beings, which leak dismembered fragments through veils of intervention.
(1) The Critique of Everyday Life, Volume I, Lefebvre, Henri, Verso 2014, p. 34
About Chris Maddox
Through artistic practice Chris Maddox investigates the motivations and correlations among various forms of contemporary escapist behavior, which he views as necessary but often-abused means of identity work. Maddox explores the nature of cultural and geopolitical boundaries, and the thresholds and barriers to human perception of space and information. He leverages backgrounds in printmaking, drawing and painting, graphic design, photography and advertising to produce interdisciplinary art work. His most recent work, a series of three solo exhibitions titled Beneath the Underdog, Blunder Drawings, and Test Me, corresponds to 21st century music culture, crowd-sourcing, graffiti, and postmodern conceptions of authorship, appropriation and pastiche.
View work online at www.chrismaddox.com