SOWING SEEDS OF DISCONTENT (SCULPTURE)
SOWING SEEDS OF DISCONTENT
August 31 - September 21, 2018
FAWICK GALLERY, KLEIST CENTER FOR ART & DRAMA, BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY, BEREA, OHIO
DESCRIPTION: "Ryan Dewey draws formal comparisons between glacial activity and agriculture, embarking on a sculptural tour that begins in a past ice age, moves through the dawn of civilization and the beginnings of catalog culture, continues to our present time, and reaches into the deep future to see where discontent is taking us."
2015, glacially abraded granite boulder, 38 lbs, NFS
This small granite boulder traveled down from Canada into Ohio during the last ice age, pushed along beneath two miles of glacial ice. This rock moved maybe a thousand miles over a thousand years - a long way for a rock to travel. It has forgotten what real cold feels like.
REMEMBER FOR THIS STONE A COLDER PAST
2018, stainless steel commercial ice box, reusable ice cubes, ritual protocol, 17in x 11in x 19in
Plunge your hands into this cold ice box for a few moments, and then place your hands on the granite boulder to remind it of glacial ice. Whisper a blessing of cold to the stone. Do it now.
RECONSTRUCTED GRANITE BOULDER
2018, sink cut-outs from granite counter tops, wooden base, 36in x 32in x 16in
This stack of granite kitchen counter tops has moved much further and much faster than the glacial erratic, coming from India, China, and the Ukraine in a matter of a few weeks. Supply chains have surpassed geologic forces.
2018, stones removed from corn field, dimensions variable
A pile of scratched stones in a field tells a story of plowing, but also of the glaciers that originally deposited the stones in fields of clay. These cairns dot the edges of farm fields, clearance cairns, moved by glaciers and removed by farmers. For the lucky farmer, a stone tool might pop up here and there.
STRUCK BY PLOW
2018, fragments of a plow-shattered stone, dimensions variable, NFS
A year ago I found a stone the farmer didn’t find, a broken stone in a field of corn, lithic reduction by way of the rotating blade of a combine. This stone literally died for your high fructose corn syrup addiction, completely shattered. NFS
CATALOG READINGS (not shown)
2018, replica 1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog purchased on Amazon.com, 11.5in x 9in x 1.9 in
Major advances in warehousing and distribution enabled consumer products to spread out over farm country like granite erratics. Catalogs began to hook farmers with chapters of necessary tools, only to tease their wallets open with finery on subsequent pages…Sears Roebuck & Co. plowed the way for the modern lifestyle of the middle class, the predecessor for the likes of buy-now-receive-later anticipation-driven shopping experiences we currently enjoy at Amazon.com where I purchased this reprint on the 1897 catalog. You really can buy everything on Amazon.
2018, walk-behind wheeled cultivator, cultivator with brackets, boxes of high fructose corn syrup, modified assisted readymade plow, dimensions variable
Plows have continually evolved since the beginning of agriculture. Beginning with the dibble stick of swidden agricultural societies, to the ard of the middle ages, to Piers the Plowman’s 14th century mouldboard and to the gasoline-powered machines of today, plows have awaited their plowmen as both emblem and tool. A constant tool of necessity, invention, and modification, plows look pretty and they do work too.
OSB BLUES (on wall)
2018, Oriented Strand Board, paint, CNC file, 101in x 96in x 23/32in
Suburban sprawl typically moves further into open rural areas as people need more space for their collection of stuff. Developments encroach upon and overtake farmlands, a slow and steady infestation of sorts. Every home packed full with the worries of life, the deceitfulness of riches, and desire for the things of this world packed in basements, garages and walk-in closets. What connections exist between this premium cul-de-sac luxury and the death of trees? The loss of tree canopy, an increase in local temperature, the shoddy rapid construction of premium homes with garbage wood, all to meet increasing demands for a custom castle. Who wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood full of kings?
DISEASE OF THE HEART, DISEASE OF THE FLESH, THE BOASTFUL PRIDE OF LIFE (on floor)
2018, red oak, white oak, lumber beam reclaimed during demolition of the original wood-framed Sears Tower, dimensions variable
A hollow trunk of a red oak, made vulnerable by and then killed by the effects of urban pollution; a solid limb from a registered 300-year-old white oak destroyed by a sawyer beetle infestation under the bark brought on by side-effects of global warming; a section of a massive lumber beam from the original wood-framed Sears Tower which enabled catalog lifestyle to grip the greedy hearts of the middle class and which steadied the rush toward globalization-induced global warming; each one of these trees died for your aspirational lifestyle. #blessed.
NOT ENOUGH COLD TO GO AROUND
2018, chest freezer, tubing, simple syrup, blue food coloring, distilled water, freezer: 3.5 cubic feet; popsicle: 3756in x 2in
We know that weather and climate are not the same, “weather” is an instance of a type of the phenomenon of climate, and local manifestations of global patterns look different depending on where you happen to be. It’s clear now that accelerated climate change has warmed the planet as a whole, pushing weather in bizarre ways that drown some places and dry others. Climate is now capricious. One certainty is that there is not enough cold to go around. What blessing did you whisper to the stone about the cold? We’re all going to need it soon.
FIELD OF GLEAMS
2018, poured sugar, dimensions variable
Sugar addictions and shopping addictions manifest from a wanting behavior and the perpetuation of that desire. Do not be deceived, it is a sticky mess. Go home. There is nothing more to see.