Studio Orta - Return to Function

Return to Function

02 May 2009 - 23 August 2009
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Group Exhibition

Return to Function' brings together contemporary artists who make functional objects based on theoretical principles. Featuring a dune buggy, a camper, a soccer ball with right angles, a cellular telephone that doubles as an exercise device, and a mobile studio—as well as garments and a do-it-yourself coffin, among other works—'Return to Function' examines the role of objects in our lives as perceived by 20 contemporary artists who employ the expansive nature of art to illuminate unexplored aspects of the familiar.Conceived for a post-industrial world, the objects included in 'Return to Function' look like items we buy and use on a daily basis. However, their usefulness within the art context exposes a complicated dynamic between individuals and commodities. These works of art address our desire for objects, while also exposing pervasive advertising manipulations. At the same time, each work imagines new and innovative ways of approaching old tasks. In doing so, the works suggest that objects can play a central role in improving our lives.