Can you distinguish an object from a thing? What predisposed ideologies or thoughts lead us to our conclusions or judgments? In this exhibit, “VitruvianThings,” at the Washington Street gallery, opening Friday, April 10, from 7 to 9 pm, Mitch Shiles presents a visually saturated examination of our assertions as humans with nonhuman forms. Shiles creates polychromatic sculptures using materials from chopsticks and clay to internet bills and dumpster wood. These materials interact in various combinations, questioning their typical associations and at the same time revealing unconscious tendencies we innately hold as humans through tapping into our natural and synthetic ecologies.
The descriptor “Vitruvian” comes from the name of the first century BC Roman architect and engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, whose book, On Architecture, lays out the qualities of admirable constructions. Leonardo Da Vinci called the image of a man inscribed within a circle within a square “the Vitruvian man.” In his exhibit, Shiles asks where these objects would fit into the observer’s catalogue.
Mitch Shiles is a contemporary ceramist and sculptor who has exhibited nationally. His work involves a multitude of materials merged through computer aided methods and ancient craft techniques. He holds an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics. www.rmshiles.com