On March 21, 2017, I visited the Cohen Gallery to see A Day’s Work, an exhibition featuring the work of Nick Tobier and Rebekah Modrak.
Stills from Nick Tobier’s Marvelous Guest
Tobier’s work in the gallery consisted of a video, called Marvelous Guests, of people doing their jobs in other, unusual places as guests. The portion of this video that sticks in my mind most is the bodybuilder going through his strength training routine in what seems to be a college library. He has his bench and other various equipment placed close to the entrance of the library, but is still not in the way of the patrons. The image of the bodybuilder sweating and struggling to finish a set in stark contrast to the quiet, scholarly environment of the library offers an interesting and previously unthought-of of juxtaposition.
Modrak’s work in the gallery was about the satirical company she made Re Made Co.; this company is a direct parody of a company that makes painted axes, Best Made Co. Re Made Co. makes plungers, painting their handles the same as the axes, and its ads mirror those very manly and nature oriented ones of Best Made Co. These ads, as well as testimonies of those who go to plunger making workshops, offers very humorous juxtaposition. There was also a video playing featuring documentation of the plunger making process of Re Made Co. side-by-side a similar documentation of the axe making of Best Made Co. This especially showed that the parody is meant to be as close to the source material as possible, even using the same commentary, only tweaked when necessary to apply to plungers instead of axes.
When producing content, it’s important to have a specific intent in mind. This is obvious in this exhibition, and must be taken in mind with the work I produce in the DGMA program, even web design. If I do not have a specific purpose in mind when designing and programming, the web page will lack functionality in content and user interface. Tobier and Modrak’s work, especially Re Made Co., also highlights how stark contrast can bring a lot of attention to a topic or work in general. Making work that stands out (positively) will bring attention to my work (and traffic to a web page), only if I am willing to look at things in a different light.