Bureau Spectacular: Shadows of Things We Wish We Had

Friday, Nov 8 – Dec 20, 2019

1709 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Volume Gallery is pleased to announce Bureau Spectacular, Shadows of Things We Wished We Had, opening Friday, November 8th, 2019, from 5-8PM at 1709 W Chicago Ave, IL 60622. In their first solo exhibition at Volume Gallery, Shadows of Things We Wished We Had presents a selection of designed objects that frames the living room as a still life painting.

Within the tradition of painting, the still life is a typology that carries a history where, a curated representation of one’s identity is made public through objects. In still life paintings, collections of inanimate objects are arranged in three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional plane. And through this process, the identity of the individual is symbolically communicated through the staging of said objects. For example, depicting freshly caught salt-water fish with a newly sliced citrus sends a powerful message about the social status of a person residing in inland Bavaria. Although, the fish caught on distant shores and the exotic citrus fruit may never have co-existed together within the same space at the same time—nonetheless—the canvas becomes a fictional space that unites them together. In juxtaposing such improbable objects together, an otherwise impossible narrative about a subject is constructed.

As we arrive at the second decade of the 21st Century, our relationship with our public selves within a private collection has evolved alongside the rise of social media. The living room, once a private environment for intimate social gatherings, is changing into something different. Programmatically, the living has now become a staging room for gathered objects rather than a space to socialize in. Transformed from a three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional image, the living room is returning to its’ still life origins, functioning more as a storytelling device rather than a room full of functional objects. How we handle our stories on social media has redefined the idea of a living room into a medium that socializes on the human’s behalf.

Led by Jimenez Lai, Bureau Spectacular is a practice that engages culture through the contemplation of art, architecture, history, politics, sociology, linguistics, mathematics, graphic design, technology, and graphic novels. Before founding Bureau Spectacular, Lai worked for various international offices, including MOS and OMA. Lai is widely exhibited and published around the world, with his work being collected by SFMOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, and LACMA.

Shadows of Things We Wished We Had will be on view from November 8th – December 20th, 2019.


Image: Detail from Website