THE NAMING OF THE GALLERY
Envisioned as a work of conceptual art, my project for this exhibition was temporarily naming the space Ferris Gallery. I propose making this name change permanent.
Titling a work of art can be one of the most crucial steps. In my practice, titles are a key factor. They give information and direct the discourse around the work. I am interested in concise gestures. Naming a gallery is a simple enough of a concept, but leads to many areas of discussion. The name of a gallery provides a backdrop or context for everything shown within it. To a certain degree it is a brand name. Naming a gallery is free to be any number of things, unlike art institutions usually named for the locale with individual wings, rooms and galleries named for donors.
The name for this gallery, a project space for the art department at the University of Chicago should do more than state what it is in a slightly obscure manner (DOVA temporary). The name should refer to the city of Chicago, specifically Hyde Park, tie into the history of contemporary art, and in the conceptual and experimental nature of the university be a work in itself. Therefore I have proposed permanently naming the space FERRIS GALLERY.
Ferris Gallery refers to the historic Ferus Gallery which operated in Los Angeles from 1957 to 1966 among other milestones it gave Andy Warhol his first solo show. The spelling in our version is of course different, this points to the Ferris wheel, first built on our very own Midway Pleasance for the Columbian Exposition in 1893. In 2000 when constructing the ice rink, workers found wooden timbers and concrete remains of its foundation. Finally, Ferris Bueller famously took a day off and came to the city in the 1980s.
Like Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles of the late 50s and 60s, the project of Ferris Gallery is to build a scene for art and culture where one is lacking, or needs fostering. This also is echoed in the broader ambition of the Columbian Exposition: to build the notoriety and prestige of the Midwest’s major metropolis, still very much in its infancy.
- Erik Wenzel
The artist and the curators of isthmus are preparing a petition to be presented to the Univeristy’s exhibition committee, made of members of the Department of Visual Art and the Art History Department. If you support this proposition, send your name and any comments to endlessnameless at uchicago dot edu. The goal is to collect as many names as possible during the course of Revolutions, after which the list will be presented to the powers that be.