Derek Curry’s work aims to make people aware of their actions as performing a function within a social system. He intends to make visible the underlying structure that dictate how people react to, or work within, a paradigm or set of unquestioned assumptions. Ultimately, the goal is to provoke people to question their unarticulated presuppositions. To accept certain precepts is to give credence or power to a belief or authority. By demonstrating that those precepts are the result of a paradigmatic belief system, Curry hopes to undermine, or at least to encourage the viewer to question, that system’s authority.
Viaticus Par Eximo Sermo (money is free speech) is an installation that demonstrates how legal rulings regarding political campaign spending as ‘free speech’ effectively equates increased spending power to speech amplification. Crickets encased in a series of steel and Plexiglas boxes accompanied by a megaphone and paper money represent this relationship. Charts, diagrams, and drawings convey the history of money being legally considered free speech and illustrate how loud a cricket would be if it had the wealth of a major corporation.
Tulipa Feteo aims to cross the genes of a tulip with a carrion flower, creating a tulip that smells like rotting flesh. The tulips will be planted at sites affected by economic bubbles as a reminder of the first economic bubble, the Tulip Bubble. Presently, viewers are invited to place scratch and sniff stickers in place of the flowers.
About the Artist
Derek Curry was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1976. He received his BFA from the University of South Florida (2007) and his MFA in New Genres from UCLA in 2010. Working with a variety of material from copyright law to bacteria, Curry’s work frequently involves viewer participation, sometimes without the participants’ knowledge of their involvement. He has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL, the Tampa Museum of Art, and The Atlantic Center for the Arts. While he has shown nationally in art galleries and museums, it is also common to find his work outside of a traditional art context in the form of public interventions. Currently, Curry lives and works in Los Angeles.
Image courtesy the artist.