Michael Konrad: DIYvek and Real Estate
Jan 21—Mar 2 2014
Hamilton Hall Platforms
The University of the Arts is pleased to present two new works by artist Michael Konrad as part of the Hamilton Hall Public Art Initiative. The two sculptures, titled “DIYvek” (left) and “Real Estate” (right), explore the rapidly changing built environment of Philadelphia.
On the north platform, “DIYvek” takes the form of a building facade whose form echoes that of many newly built residential developments in Philadelphia. The facade is deliberately left unfinished, constructed from 2x4s and OSB sheathing. However, one critical detail differs from typical construction: A protruding segment of the facade is wrapped in a material that resembles DuPont’s Tyvek HomeWrap, which is typically used to seal buildings against the elements. On closer examination, the material is actually Konrad’s own creation, crafted by the artist from discarded plastic bags. Konrad uses this subtly handmade material to highlight the unsustainable nature of our contemporary building practices and to suggest a more autonomous, handmade approach to the built environment.
On the south platform, “Real Estate” emulates the signs often set up on Philadelphia’s vacant lots, hinting at new development to come. Instead of a slick computer rendering of a new building, the sign board displays a photograph of four abandoned and decaying row houses. As such, the work questions the tradeoff we make between rehabilitating an old building as opposed to tearing it down and replacing it with something new.
Michael Konrad is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Philadelphia. He holds an MA in Studio Art from New York University and has shown extensively in the Philadelphia area. He is a 2010-2011 recipient of a Fleisher Wind Challenge Award in Sculpture and Installation, and has completed residencies at the RAIR program in Northeast Philadelphia and the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program. He is also a member of Grizzly Grizzly, an artist curatorial collective based in Philadelphia.Hamilton Hall
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