Admission (Exhibition Catalog)





Group Statement

Admission is the acknowledgment of truth and the access to possibilities or options.

In this exhibition Chris Purdie acknowledges consciousness as truth and Marc Bradley Johnson suggests the recognition of possibilities creates access to options. Both installations involve the patron in a distinctive manner, presenting not only a visual, but also a multi-sensory experience based on perception and consciousness. Purdie and Johnson were united for this exhibition through the commonalities of their concepts, mediums, and methods of display.

Through the deconstructive efforts of Minimalism contemporary artists are provided with new foundations upon which to construct. The forms identified by the Minimalists as foundational have become the new pedestals whereon objects and concepts may be presented. In this exhibition both artists have chosen one of the most fundamental forms—the cube—to present their objects and concepts. The objects presented on the so-called “pedestals” are unique to each of the concepts—multiple speakers symbolizing voice or thought and multiple doors representing options. Admission presents voice and options, both of which are consequences of consciousness.


The Speakers (Voice Box)

The point of departure for The Speakers (Voice Box) is found in an art historical dialog between Minimalist art and the criticism of Michael Fried. In this piece I examine the phenomenology of perception as it applied to Minimalist artist Tony Smith’s sculptures—specifically Die, a six foot steel cube. The dimensions of Smith’s Die and mine correspond to those of the human body as depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing, Vitruvian Man. Both Smith and myself are interested in the ways physical objects, as well as our spatial proximity to those objects, shape our self-perception. My work contributes to this focus on self-perception by adding a new dimension—sound. I am using speakers and sound in hopes of further unveiling the anthropomorphism of Minimalist art. I reconstructed Tony Smith’s Die out of black speakers and endowed the anthropomorphic cube with a voice, and by so doing seek to fill the “hollowness” of which Die was convicted by critic Michael Fried.


Michael Fried directed his criticism toward Minimalism or “literalism” as he called it. Fried did not like the “theatricality” or necessity of the viewer and thought that art should stand alone, giving to the viewer rather than taking from them. I considered this criticism and viewed the “hollowness” of <em>Die</em> to be a vacuum and storehouse of human consciousness. In <em>The Speakers (Voice Box) </em>I seek to reverse this process and give back to the viewer the evidence of consciousness collected and stored within <em>Die</em>. This piece thus blurs the line between the so-called “non-art” and “art”, “object” and “essence.” Delivering visual and aural elements simultaneously, this piece, then, will both literally and theoretically delve into the phenomenological essence of man, which I take to be consciousness.


Total: 212 Speakers



The Speakers Project was funded in part by Brigham Young University’s Office of Research and Creative Activities.

Essay: Joseph Parry

Photography: Galen Dunn

Catalog and Promotion Designs: Manasseh Langtimm

Audio Composition: Lance Montgomery and Chris Purdie

Technical Support: Jarime Billings, Neil Bly and Ned Clayton

Amplifier Design and Production: Ned Clayton and Chris Purdie

Promotions: Landon Hallman, Adam Reitz, Cole Sanders and Mike Woodward

Featured Voices: Emily Fox, Andrew Kosorok

Additional Voices: Brian Andelin, Jarime Billings, Krystal Billings, Jared Clark, Lee Cowan, Noah Coleman, Jared Greenleaf, Marc Bradley Johnson, Jamie Purdie, Judy Simmons, and Shane Simmons

Thanks: Deseret Industries for help in collecting the speakers, Laura Durham and the Rio Gallery.

Special thanks to Jamie Purdie for much help and support.


Artist Biography

Chris Purdie has been studying and producing art, both as a musician and as a visual artist, all his life. Through an exploration of light, sound, and performance his work examines perception and cognition as it relates to the formation of identity. Purdie’s art has been featured in a variety of group and solo exhibitions and can be found in publications as well as private and corporate collections. He currently lives & works in Pleasant Grove, Utah.


Exhibition Information

Title: Admission

Artists: Chris Purdie & Marc Bradley Johnson

Exhibition Dates: 4 December – 7 January

Opening Reception: Friday 4 December 6:00 – 8:00pm

Location: Rio Gallery

300 S. 455 W. Salt Lake City

(at the historic Rio Grande Depot)

Gallery Hours: 7:00am – 6:00pm Monday – Thursday

Admission is free to the public


Two artists, two cubes, over two hundred speakers, and twelve doors combine to create Admission.

Admission is an exhibition of sound and motion by Chris Purdie and Marc Bradley Johnson and will be on display December 4, 2009 through January 7, 2010 with an opening reception Friday December 4 from 6-8pm (admission free to the public).

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