AC [Direct] II presents Ann Torke’s The Residue Series: Everyday Accumulation, a continuation of her interest in tracking the detritus of everyday life. Part Petri dish, part performance and part sculpture, this work is an examination of accumulation, the traces of presence and the mark making of everyday life. The work makes manifest the dialectic of entropy and order from various sites including the floors of Torke’s house and studio as well as her stovetop surface. Collecting the residue becomes a series of ritual performances or “chores” conducted on a daily basis in month long units. These performances are methods of archiving, tracking and participation focused on that which we normally cast-off, ignore or abdicate. Afterwards, the debris is cast into solid forms or sealed under epoxy.
In House and Studio, the debris is suspended in layers of clear resin—molds from classically inspired forms. For the Stovetops the actual metal tops from the stove are removed after a month and sealed, while a new stovetop is put in place to continue to collect the organic spew from cooking. It is a mix of conceptual and formal provocation, an “ugly/beautiful” display that explores notions of domesticity, beauty and value. Torke has also included the work-in-progress accumulation of debris from all the AC [Institute Direct Chapel] galleries. Collaboratively collected with AC staff, the sweepings are the first in her exploration of public, non-autobiographical sites in which the debris reflects the intervention of others.
The Residue Series: Everyday Accumulation functions as an exploration/interrogation of a specific process, site or framed event, with the underlining assumption that none of these sites are neutral. They are loaded with material, cultural, or psychological residue and by framing this residue she is able to glean more clearly how we structure and understand the world around us. Torke works from an interdisciplinary perspective with the belief that compelling art is a process of critical investigation, risk-taking and a discursive synthesis of ideas and materials.
About the Artist
Ann Torke received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, an MFA from the University of California (San Diego) and was a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Her work has been exhibited in such venues as Art in General (New York), Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo), and de Balie, (Amsterdam). Torke has taught at School of the Art Institute (Chicago), Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) and is currently an Associate Professor at UMass (Boston).