Nobody strives to be boring or likes to be bored, and there is probably no worse criticism of an artwork or exhibition than to say that it’s “boring.” And yet, boredom is a powerful state of mind. It is an everyday part of human existence, but one that most people deny and work hard to avoid. A close relative of repose, it is the experience of not having anything to do, and yet its prerequisite is the overwhelming desire to do something, anything, to fill that empty time. Commonly associated with frustration, futility, or failure, boredom can also be a stimulus for contemplation, imagination, work, and play – triggering inspiration or motivation, it often plays a significant role in the process of art-making and viewing.
Staring at the Wall: The Art of Boredom examines what goes on when supposedly nothing is going on. The artists in the exhibition – Chris Akin, Seth Alverson, Uta Barth, Jeremy DePrez, Clayton Porter, and Jenny Schlief – work in a variety of media and address boredom in a number of ways. Some of the artists consider themes of repetition and feelings of restlessness, while others explore what lies beneath and beyond the idle moments in our everyday lives.
This exhibition is supported in part by The Brown Foundation, Inc.