The Mark Series: The Speaker…Off The Rack
April 30—May 26, 2019
Nadin’s Mark Series was executed over a period of 15 years, and is best thought of as a weltanschauung—a complete view of the world from a specific standpoint, addressing cognitive, aesthetic, and political issues as they meet in a search for a self-determined way of being.
On view is Nadin’s large-scale sculpture The Speaker…Off The Rack, which can be approached as a lexicon for his entire The Mark Series. The work The First Mark is closely aligned with and inspired by the activities on Nadin’s working farm. While The First Mark is located in this rural landscape, and is a representation of subjective experience, The Second Mark engages an urban environment and considers how we perceive the subjective experience of others through the figure of The Programmer. The Third Mark explores how experience is transformed into memory, history, and then myth. Throughout these works, a concern around how a way of seeing is merely an entrypoint for a way of knowing is a recurring theme. Exhibited for the first time, The Speaker…Off The Rack synthesizes all three parts of Nadin’s Mark Series into a single cohesive narrative.
The Speaker suggests that we must cast aside the assumption of sameness to entertain and celebrate the possibility of endless difference. Within our contemporary culture and economy, identities, opinions, and emotions are offered up to be purchased or assumed as readymade; off the rack—yet those identities neither feel nor fit right. Struggle and anxiety pave the path for the individual unwilling or unable to select from these available, readymade lives. The Speaker addresses how one may build a self-determined way of being within and against this context. Although pleasures are many, the overall strangeness of the process of a self-constructed world is revealed. Accompanying the exhibition, The Mark Series: Method and Manual (published by Edgewise Press) is a guide to the complete series and its interconnected parts.
Peter Nadin (b. 1954) has exhibited at venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Boston; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; the Venice Biennale XLII; Le Nouveau Musée, Lyon; Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; and Kunstmuseum Bern. Nadin's work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale Center for British Art, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England, among others. Nadin has written three books: Tide of Tongues (1991), Twelve Prints and Poems (1998), and Still Life (1983), and co-authored Eating Through Living (1981), Eating Friends (1981), and Living (1980). Nadin lives and works on Old Field Farm in the Catskills, Greene County, New York.