John Delk
“Suspension of Disbelief”
September 8 – October 14, 2006
Opening Reception for the Artist: September 8th, 6-9pm.

Thomas Robertello Gallery is pleased to present “Suspension of Disbelief,” a solo exhibition of work by John Delk, including an installation of sound and mixed media sculpture, photography, and live fish.

“Suspension of Disbelief,” as defined by Wikipedia, is the willingness of a reader or viewer to suspend his critical faculties to the extent of ignoring minor inconsistencies in order to enjoy a work of fiction’s inherent outrageousness. Delk believes ‘the United States is experiencing a deep national crisis as Americans have suspended their critical faculties so as to enjoy a cheap work of fiction being created by the government and presented by the media; both institutions controlled by the invisible hand of corporate interests.’

Individual pieces respond to current events such as political prisoners or covert surveillance operations while others touch on themes of excess and alienation in American culture. One work is comprised of talking teddy bears installed on shelves, each implanted with an original recording of a personal ad placed on a phone dating service. The ads range from naïve to explicit, but all are an attempt at competitive marketing of the self as a commodity. Other bears are piled into a mound and praying for the world’s salvation.

“Guantanamo” protests the torture of political prisoners and questions the role of the individual in relation to acts of the state. Specifically it calls to mind the US government’s tendency to justify even its most heinous acts as serving freedom and democracy. This installation consists of hundreds of goldfish in small cubes, i.e. cells. Viewers may dismantle and remove the piece through adoption or let it remain.

Another work transforming the gallery into a virtual panopticon explores the world of simulation and espionage that increasingly defines our society. The word “evildoers” is spelled out on the wall in Braille with 26 security surveillance globes. The piece calls to mind a recently exposed government practice of undisclosed monitoring of individual’s phone conversations, email and bank records, cited as necessary to flush out the “evildoers” hiding among the American citizenry.

John Delk lives and works in New York. He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2001 and has exhibited in New York, Washington DC, and Chicago. This event marks his first solo exhibition and is made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Press

Art or Idiocy?

Time Out Chicago by Ruth Lopez

Center Stage Chicago

Chicago Public Radio 9/11

John Delk

Suspension of Disbelief
September 8 - October 14, 2006
Opens September 8, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Installation Views

From left: Target, Pleading, Kampf, There are things we know we know.  We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.  But there are also unknown unknowns--the ones we don't know we don't know.

From left: Target, Pleading, Kampf, There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns--the ones we don't know we don't know.

From left: Waiting, Heroes, Feelings, Target, Pleading

From left: Waiting, Heroes, Feelings, Target, Pleading


Works

Kampf

John Delk, Kampf, 2006

Target

John Delk, Target, 2006

We know...

John Delk, We know..., 2006

Guantanamo

John Delk, Guantanamo, 2006

Guantanamo (detail)

John Delk, Guantanamo (detail), 2006

Waiting

John Delk, Waiting, 2006

Pleading

John Delk, Pleading, 2006

Suspension of Disbelief

John Delk, Suspension of Disbelief, 2006

Heroes

John Delk, Heroes, 2005

Heroes

John Delk, Heroes, 2005


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