Office Units: Surrogate Prototypes
Curator: Lisa Dillin
March 23—May 1, 2010
Lisa Dillin creates sculptures and installations that question viewers’ relationships with the physical and conceptual environments that they inhabit. In Office Units: Surrogate Prototypes, Dillin’s spatial intervention takes the form of a modern-day office cubicle. Ordinary office products and personal effects appear: a desktop computer, file folders, pens, pencils, and snapshots sit atop the cubicle desktop. Large file folders and potted plants stand behind the fabric partition, and an illuminated, wood-laminate paneled wall sculpture mounted on the adjacent wall. complete the office-inspired environment. Although the installation emulates a typical modular office cubicle found in any commercial setting, the small, half-opened door underneath the desk suggests otherwise. A strange vista appears through Dillin’s carefully constructed aperture: a milky mass covers the walls and floor of the small hollow space into which curious viewers are meant to crawl. Once inside, viewers enter an alternative reality—a grotto. Small stalactites and stalagmites appear and the sound of running water fills the space. An absurd and literal escape, Dillin’s artificial grotto speaks to the increasing disconnect from nature that human beings experience. The constructed environment functions as a stage set of sorts where viewers observe the blending of past with present, and the fantastic with the mundane. A wry comment on consumer culture and the artificiality of the economic and structural systems that humans entangle themselves within, Office Units: Surrogate Prototypes questions the legitimacy of our current raison d’etre.