Continuous Service Altered Daily, a major site-specific installation by David Brooks commissioned by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, marks the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. Throughout his practice, Brooks investigates the tenuous relationship between our ecological life and technological industry.
Brooks (born 1975, Brazil, Indiana) presents every single part of a used 1976 John Deere 3300 combine harvester in his exhibition at The Aldrich, which will be on view through February 5, 2017. The components are laid out in varying degrees of disassembly in a procession from the front plaza through the Leir Atrium and Leir Gallery and out into the Museum’s Sculpture Garden. Distinctive elements like the corn head and cab remain unaltered in a weathered John Deere green, while other parts are sandblasted, removing rust, paint and all traces of wear and tear; still others, like pipes and fittings, are brass-plated and housed in museum vitrines, the traditional trappings of highbrow art objects or precious natural history displays.
A combine is the ultimate example of agricultural technology, the otherworldly design of its bulky metal body concealing the integration of all stages of the harvesting process into one machine designed to reap grain, a resource that the efficiency of a combine allows us to take for granted as eternally and inexpensively available.
Curator Amy Smith-Stewart explains, “The stunning array of dismantled machine parts, exhibited in a diverse system of presentation, are designated according to the ecosystem service they represent, making it impossible to conceive of the combine in its entirety or to determine the machine’s complete functionality; similarly, an ecosystem integrates innumerable processes, many of them intangible or undetectable, into one whole, making it impossible for us to conceive of a life unfolding within it.”
She continues, “Continuous Service Altered Daily asks us to reexamine our perception of products reaped from the landscape, oftentimes those too easily interpreted as “services” for personal use: water, food, clean air, climate, energy—things we have come to expect to be delivered to us forever.”
Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place
David Brooks: Continuous Service Altered Daily is part of Site Lines: Four Solo Exhibitions Engaging Place, which opened with a public reception on May 1, 2016. This series of exhibitions features Kim Jones, Peter Liversidge, and Virginia Overton, presenting site-specific commissions, ranging from sculpture to drawing and performance-based works. The exhibitions encompass both the monumental and the ephemeral, intersecting, interconnecting, or mirroring the Museum’s galleries and two-acre Sculpture Garden, as well as the surrounding community. The artists utilize materials found on or indigenous to the grounds and the area, offering a response to “site” that underscores the institution’s material history and its visual condition by transforming scale and circumstance. The works seek to “frame” the view within and beyond the galleries against the natural landscape while also accentuating the Museum’s unique architectural features, such as a pitched roofline, paned windows, and a room-scale camera obscura. Viewers are able to respond to works from multiple vantage points as they move around the Museum’s galleries, grounds, and the surrounding environs. Gravel Mirror (1968), a work by the influential artist and writer Robert Smithson, incorporated gravel found on the grounds of The Aldrich, and was a significant touchstone for the development of this exhibition series.
For additional information and images, please contact:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
203.438.4519, extension 140