Pop-up exhibition in the Faulconer Gallery through March 13
It feels quite appropriate for the new Grinnell Artist in Residence Program (GARP)* to invite Detroit-native Scott Hocking as one of the first residents, on the basis of his attention and dedication to place and formation. By exploring abandoned buildings and assembling sculptural installations within and away from their materials’ source, he creates environments to photograph over time, or present in a gallery. A bold and patient artist, Hocking has braved numerous, harsh rounds of Midwest winters and summers for documentation in toxic and collapsing ruins of the now-bankrupt city. His photography and installation projects exemplify his delight in lonely, foggy nights, and now-unfamiliar industrial vessels. The prints hung for this pop-up exhibition record three projects: all took no less than a brief eight months to construct, and up to six years of documenting.
In Ziggurat and FB21, waves of scrappers, EPA cleanups, and police guards shaped both what Hocking could use for the project, and also how long the pyramid would last before his access dissolved. Hocking also captivates us with his use of symbols, enriched by their context and lifespans. Some are tinged with sarcasm, as hinted in the subtitle for The Egg and MCTS (AKA Andy Goldsworthy Did Not Invent The Fucking Cairn); others bristle with criticism—as when he substitutes a dozen defunct televisions for the Twelve Olympians in Garden of the Gods. In assembling his work out of objects and rubble that have endured decades of decay, their durability is tested further as Hocking carefully alters their relationships, however temporarily.
Faulconer Gallery, Writers@Grinnell, and the Art, Music, and Theatre & Dance Departments are excited to collaborate with Hocking and the materials and social fabric in and around Grinnell. While Hocking’s residency in central Iowa lasts a fleeting two weeks compared to the seasons seen in his photographs, numerous students will have the opportunity to not just observe his practice, but also work alongside the artist. The apex of his visit will take place on March 12th in Main Hall: there he will present an installation that combines found objects and natural elements with curated texts, images, and sounds, created with students in the Music, Art, and Writing Interdisciplinary Course. On March 4th, he will also discuss his work and career as a place-based artist, including the process of creating his new book, Bad Graffiti. Inspired by his journeys through abandoned properties, Hocking looks at the graffiti sketched and scrawled upon the vacant lot fences, boarded up factories, and derelict dwellings.