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Artists Spend Two Months at the Mattress Factory to Create Works
Brian Griffiths, "The Body and Ground" (or Your Lovely Smile), 2010 (1st Floor). Canvas, paint, fiberglass poles, rope, netting, thread, tape, plastic sheeting.
PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Mattress Factory opened "Nothing is Impossible", an exhibition with new and context specific work by artists Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Brian Griffiths, Bea McMahon and Dennis McNulty. Based in Dublin and London, each of the artists has been invited to spend a period of two months in Pittsburgh to develop work for this project. "Nothing is Impossible" is the first in a series of exhibitions and performances Mark Garry and Georgina Jackson will produce during their two-year curatorial residency with the museum. The exhibition will run through August 8, 2010.

Nothing Is Impossible
If we can believe that nothing is impossible and that anything can happen, how would we live differently? What could we envision? Where could we be? What implications are there if we banish contemporary constrictions and delimitations of thinking? Slovenian philosopher and critical theorist Slavoj Žižek critiques the notion that the only good ideas are those that work. He argues that contemporary thought is constricted to what is possible, obstructing what he defines as “genuine politics”; the art of what is impossible. It is the impossible which offers us a new landscape for this moment, altering the parameters of the present and the future.

Artistic practice is considered a method of re-thinking our relationship with the world, of posing other possibilities, other narratives. The working material of the artist becomes the hidden and mutable possibilities of the physical, the social, the scientific and the political. This extension of the imaginary and confrontation of reality asks us to consider what role we play in the way things are.

In 1999, Tate Modern curator Sheena Wagstaff lauded the assertion by the Mattress Factory directors, Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, that “nothing is impossible." In the development of this project, five artists (Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Brian Griffiths, Bea McMahon and Dennis McNulty) were invited to spend time researching and developing work in Pittsburgh. Maintaining a belief in the potential of this invitation, each artist was asked to consider that nothing is impossible.

This project is the first in a series of projects developed by curators Mark Garry and Georgina Jackson as part of the curators-in-residence program at the Mattress Factory. The residency, made possible through generous support from The Fine Foundation, began in March 2009 and will continue until April 2011. It is the first residency of its kind.

The Mattress Factory | "Nothing is Impossible" | Karl Burke | Rhona Byrne | Brian Griffiths |


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