A collaboration with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Connecting Communities program, We Go From Where We Know is the culmination of our research-driven The Wisconsin Project. The installation centers around a Wisconsin-built 1949 Nash Ambassador sedan automobile filled with individually hand-cast concrete corncobs and life-size full-length studio portrait photographs of Wisconsin Natives & Tourists. “Nash Corn Crib” is based on Shimon’s childhood memory of a derelict Nash repurposed as a corn crib by a neighboring farmer. Glass and rusty nail encrusted concrete tear drops, a participatory installation of “found” vintage postcards, trophy cases of “made” cyanotype and palladium real photo postcards, a reliquary of Wisconsin tourist souvenirs, and 101 framed watercolor paintings depicting a Rural Utopia combine to express the Wisconsin we have come to know through the works of self-taught artists whose primary medium was concrete and agrarian wisdom(s). Seeing our home state characterized as a Gothic netherworld in Michael Lesy’s seminal book Wisconsin Death Trip, as a picturesque vactionland on picture postcards, and populated by hard-working gemutlichkeit cheeseheads galvanized our meditation on Wisconsin as place as we museum-ized the mood and objects we found here.
We Go From Where We Know runs October 13, 2013 – February 23, 2014 as part of The Open Eye series of exhibitions at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in downtown Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
View Natives & Tourists photographs on Flickr
View Rural Utopia watercolors on Blogspot
View Made and Found postcards on Blogspot
View the We Go From Where We Know improvisational performance on YouTube
Read more about the 1949 Nash Ambassador on Blogspot
Read Shepherd Express 11.27.2013 review by Erin Hefferman