increase: Ann Hamilton/Michael Mercil

North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota
3 August  25 September 2003

Exhibition view, east gallery

Exhibition view, east gallery

Text replaces image and words form material in many works for this exhibition. A quote from “The Book of Job” is burned onto the surface of three plywood tablets in Brace yourself. The oak timber of WHO lies on the floor like a casket, or sarcophagus. The words carved in relief on its top refer to the christian mystery of an incarnate God, but its purpose is not religious. 

“I am a” (Buffalo) includes forty-nine hand-painted signs arranged in a grid, where a “Bowl of Potatoes,” “President Roosevelt,” and “The Temple of Music” each occupy an equivalent physical and imaginative space. The painted surfaces of Mrs. Peter name characters from the “Tales of Peter Rabbit.” Other works invoke a social transaction or political contract. Covenant is a rusted steel ballot box and table. Measure is an oversized, silver begging cup engraved with “please” on the outside, and “thank you” on the inside.   

The title for the exhibition, increase, names a collaborative work made for the occasion by Ann Hamilton and me. This work includes a projected and spinning video loop of the Shaker text, "my love is increasing," as written out by a calligrapher using a nib pen and ink. The image, rotating at speeds that varied from 2 rpm to 33 1/2 rpm, was cast across the walls of an otherwise empty mezzanine space, .

"I am a" (Buffalo) 2003 enamel paint on burned plywood, 49 panels 42 x 42 x .5 inches each

"I am a" (Buffalo) 2003
enamel paint on burned plywood, 49 panels 42 x 42 x .5 inches each

your dress 2003 latex paint over wallpaper 108 x 108 inches

your dress 2003
latex paint over wallpaper 108 x 108 inches

WHO 2003 carved white oak 22 x 72 x 22 inches

WHO 2003
carved white oak 22 x 72 x 22 inches

WHO (detail)

WHO (detail)

Exhibition view east gallery

Exhibition view east gallery

covenant 2003 welded and rusted steel 57 x 60 x 24 inches

covenant 2003
welded and rusted steel 57 x 60 x 24 inches

Brace yourself 2003 burned plywood, three panels 96 x 48 x .75 inches each

Brace yourself 2003
burned plywood, three panels 96 x 48 x .75 inches each

Exhibition view east gallery

Exhibition view east gallery

Mrs. Peter (detail) 2003 enamel paint on pine plywood, twenty panels 36 x 36 x .5 inches each

Mrs. Peter (detail) 2003
enamel paint on pine plywood, twenty panels 36 x 36 x .5 inches each

increase (with Ann Hamilton) 2003 variable speed spinning video loop

increase (with Ann Hamilton) 2003
variable speed spinning video loop