Sunday, April 06, 2014

Inaugural Garofalo Fellow Molly Hunker shows her cards: at UIC with Myth, through May 10; at the Graham in person Monday night with Spiritual Kitsch

Last August, architect and designer was Molly Hunker, co-founder of the Los Angeles design firm SPORTS, was named as the first recipient of the Douglas A. Garofalo Fellowship, established by the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago to honor the talented architect who died far too soon in 2011.

Hunker took up residence at UIC last fall, with the plan of teaching courses, pursuing independent research, and preparing a public exhibition and lecture. That exhibition, Myth, is now up in the South Gallery of the Arts and Architecture Building at UIC, 845 West Harrison, where it runs, 9 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday through May 10th. The exhibition . . . 
. . . focuses specifically on the religious genre of the home shrine, re-envisioning the richly decorative and kitsch assembly through the lens of the architectural installation. . . . Myth re-envisions the home shrine through the lens of the contemporary architectural installation. The project learns from the careful collection and curation of sentimental objects commonly found in home shrines, producing an emotionally resonant experience that recalibrates contemporary notions of atmosphere and engagement.

Myth uses the decorative prayer candle as the primary object through which to explore how home shrines can provoke new understandings of visual and atmospheric opulence in the architectural interior .

The project suspends hundreds of handmade wax container - candles on cotton wicks, creating a semi-enclosed shrine-space by the accumulation of the colorful objects . While the overhead candles are geometrically simple, the candles closer to the ground are increasingly articulated with a grotesque featuring strategy inherent to the transformation of wax from liquid to solid . This articulation technique partners with a gradient of increasing color saturation and shimmering cosmetic in order to engage with a kitsch sensibility that provokes greater emotional resonance with visitors.
Tonight, Monday, April 7th, 6:00 p.m. at the Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton Place, Hunker will deliver a lecture, Spiritual Kitsch.  
The discussion will explore how home shrines and related assemblies can provoke new understandings of visual opulence and lead to the production of emotionally resonant architecture.
 More information and registration here.

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