Scavenged, arranged, and transformed. The artworks in this exhibition bring everyday objects into the museum—and in doing so, reveal a process by which bits of life become art. The show’s title is borrowed from artist duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s video The Way Things Go (1987), which follows a contraption made of car tires, balloons, fireworks, and other ordinary things that carry out a sequence of chain reactions. Here, a selection of works drawn from the Walker’s collection encourages us to find the poetry in the mundane by focusing on artists’ experiments with humble materials.
Many of these works were made using techniques of collage or assemblage, in which various elements are combined into a single whole. In this way, familiar and commonplace items take on new forms or meanings. A ball of modeling clay rolled through New York streets, strips of steel salvaged from a junkyard, motorcycle helmets, a bottle of lotion—artists’ unlikely combinations of overlooked things and consumer goods open new possibilities for the scraps and substance of everyday life.
The presentation highlights recent acquisitions and includes pieces by Robert Breer, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Wade Guyton, Rachel Harrison, Rosy Keyser, Cady Noland, Gabriel Orozco, Laure Prouvost, Robert Rauschenberg, Jason Rhoades, and Gedi Sibony.
Curators: Victoria Sung, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts, and Jadine Collingwood, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts