In collaboration with the work of over twenty other artists, the Burtonwood and Holmes duo have created an installation situated at the intersection of war, patriotism and materialism. They have painted images of warfare and ruin on the wall of the gallery, and invited collaborating artists to hang their works over the images. The scene evokes the proximity between acts of war and cultural production that are normally kept at more of a distance. Though art-making may seem remote from the complex industry of war, Burtonwood and Holmes reframe the work of the artist in direct dialogue with the nation’s state of war. The other part of the Burtonwood and Holmes’ installation is, in a sense, an inversion of the first part of the show. The walls are covered in sales ads and junk mail, and the diorama figures placed in the space are also covered with similar fliers. Whereas the first part of the installation places the subjective production of art in the context of wartime, the second part allows the viewer to see products as a homogenizing force on the consumer, and a mask on the objects of war in the scene. This leads the viewer to the notion that materialism and marketing are very much mechanism of war themselves. Burtonwood and Holmes have created two environments that question the implication of producing and consuming in a time of war. With the directness of their images and associations, the installation mimics the coloration that war has on the creation, marketing and distribution of goods that we are prone to ignore in our everyday systems of valuation. (Marisa Plumb)
Through June 28 at GARDENfresh Gallery, 119 N. Peoria.