It’s midnight and I’m lonely
Kavi Gupta Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of Chicago-based artist Danielle Gustafson-Sundell titled it’s midnight and i’m lonely. The exhibition consists of wall-based text made from various fabrics which depict slogans, musings and provocations borrowed from WW2 to the present. The show is accompanied by sound specifically written, performed and produced for it’s midnight and i’m lonely by Victor Thompson. The artist has also utilized the project room for a curated exhibition titled if that was all needed i’d be fine, and includes work by Stephanie Brooks, Anna Conway, Andreas Fischer, Carrie Gundersdorf, Andy Moore, Chris Naka, Keiler Sensenbrenner, and Tony Tasset.
Danielle Gustafson-Sundell’s exhibition features over 80 text phrases plastering the walls of the gallery space. Each phrase is cut from commonplace utilitarian textiles such as felt, wool, denim, or corduroy and is plucked from sources that range from t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, handbills, posters, and placards that
the artist has collected over the years. The proclamations vary from propaganda, subtle sarcasm, biting commentary and witty innuendos to forthright pleads such as “save the whales”. The purposeful placement of sentiments such as earnestness next to apathy, outrage above irony, narcissism coupled with social consciousness, do-gooder following hedonist, and on and on, addresses the open ended re-interpretation and re-contextualization which implicates and invites the viewer to answer the question: How do I participate?
The phrases are remade as replicas from the original design, where the scale, color, and typeface vary in as much as the hand-reinterpretation of the originals makes for imperfect, personalized declarations. The words chosen are predominantly written by and for the people, for better or worse, and this personal passion is reiterated by the artist’s choice of remaking these signs in a way that reflects the historically craft-based, folk manner in which groups of people – families, churches, schools and political groups – would get together around a common table with tons of fabric, glue, paint and staples to create these mantras of commonality and often protest.
These public declarations are expressions of fascinating forms of found vernacular, folk art, historical artifacts, and exist now as contemporary cultural reflection. They are someone’s opinions, beliefs or ideas available to be embraced, rejected or ignored. Believing and the struggle of defining one’s voice is a lonely, melancholy task.
Danielle Gustafson-Sundell was born in Minnesota and lives and works in Chicago, IL. Gustafson-Sundell has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Kavi Gupta Gallery. Selected group exhibitions include shows at David Risley Gallery, London; The Moore Space, Miami; Harris Gallery, University of LaVerne, CA; FRESH, The Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY .
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