Rebekah Modrak (Class of ‘92) and Nick Tobier present “A Day’s Work” at the Cohen Gallery, March 1-April 1, 2017. The joint show features distinct but related bodies of work that serve to challenge viewers’ social expectations. “A Day’s Work” opens March 1, with a closing reception on April 1.
Rebekah’s installation, Re Made Co., is a multimedia artistic intervention satirizing the brand narrative of Best Made Co., a New York City-based company that sells painted axes and a range of “outdoor” consumer products using calculated and false associations with manual labor. Evolving since its launch in July 2013, Re Made Co. works across genres, including Fluxus art whose distribution channels circumvent and subvert the gallery system; critical design that challenges the values of design practice; and activist art or “culture jamming” that attempts to introduce a critical discourse into passive consumption. Re Made encompasses multiple facets of communication (website, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, emails, blogs, magazines and legal documents) to plot the course of the artwork in real time in response to browser comments and Best Made Co.’s updates, posts and instigations.
Re Made Co. at Cohen Gallery will create a storefront space on Main Street in Alfred with both the products and the critique of luxury consumer culture that seeks to appropriate the work of labor.
Nick will conduct performances in the gallery and in the community during the month of March. He will present, “Marvelous Guests,” which lends new working conditions and meanings to several trades by inviting professionals to conduct their business in unusual locations. As a guest. Each encounter will produce its own forms of communication on location. We see the relationship between guest and host as dynamic, and not without friction as each adjusts to the other. Much like an oyster, our guest is perhaps the catalyst who needs a host in order to make a pearl. An irritant at first, a persistent question, but ultimately, we hope, a marvelous new relationship evolves.
Both artists taught at the School of Art Design at Alfred University before joining the faculty at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where they currently live and work.