Understanding that precepts of attractiveness have evolved over time and vary between cultures, this exhibition invites artists to consider cultural constructions of aesthetic appeal, and asks,—“How do we receive messages about beauty in a contemporary global society and how are we affected by internalizing ideals?”
The word “vessel” connects to wide-ranging associations. From a hand-held object of daily use to a ship transferring cargo across an ocean, the vessel serves to hold something transitory so that it might be digested or preserved, grounding the ephemeral to an earthly collection point. Whereas the human body is mere empty flesh, it can be seen as a vessel for the immaterial elements of humanity—the “soul”, “spirit”, or “consciousness”
Without Design or Sketch: The Story of the Room approaches the context of Whistler's Peacock Room as a platform from which to address a series of issues related to contemporary art practices such as the boundary between art space and living space, the perceptions of decorative and fine art, the value of art and patronage, and art’s engagement with social and moral issues versus its purely visual components.