Tai’s playful approach to artmaking is apparent in this “Conveniently placed stack of postcards.”
Tai avails himself of a photo opportunity in the “waiting room” of his “office.”
The very title of Cedric Tai’s solo show at Re:View Contemporary Gallery, “We Need More _________!” gets you thinking from the start. Do we need more sand art? Do we need more office jobs? Do we need more page views? All these are present in the two-room exhibition, largely dominated by conceptual pieces.
Detail from “World Clock.”
The exhibit includes a “Drawing Machine,” responsible for the semi-circular bordering around the perimeter of the main gallery, which Tai wielded in an open demonstration during the opening.
Members of the opening night crowd consider, “Drawing Machine.” The machine’s handiwork is evident on the floor.
There is also a shelf of handmade books, “The Speed of Learning,” which are rigged to count the number of times they are opened (white gloves are provided for the handling of the art).
“The Speed of Learning” (one of three).
In Gallery 2, Tai has created an office cubicle, a reconstruction of his own studio/office, equipped with not only his files and in-process works, but a specially programmed copier machine, “Office Works,” which spits out limited-edition works by the artist and a prodigious list of past collaborators, which then go on to further collaborate with participants who choose to place objects on the face of the copier.
Works of art, at the press of a button. We Need More Copies?!
If Tai is suggesting we need more of his enchanting acrylic and charcoal powder works, applied through silkscreen to the walls of the main gallery as well as a series of “Ephemeral Prints” on racks in Gallery 2, this blogger can only wholeheartedly agree. But it seems that Tai has something else in mind, utilizing the mock office space to suggest that, “While artists attempt to make work that questions and mirrors reality, our careers do not provide an alternative to working within a neoliberal structure with its ceaseless demands.”
Tai’s office space, recreated within Gallery 2.
One of Tai’s pieces, installed directly onto the wall of the main gallery.
So perhaps what Tai is suggesting we need more of, in the end, is the open space to consider our options. You have until April 19th to decide for yourself. Don’t miss this chance to consider the work of Cedric Tai!
Re:View Contemporary Gallery: 444 W. Willis, #112, Detroit; 313-833-9000; www.reviewcontemporary.com