Matthew Mosher gave out white-chocolate Hershey's candy, powdered doughnuts, and Natural American Spirit cigarettes for yesterday's opening reception of his new exhibition at the Arizona State University Step Gallery -- The Gallery is No Place for Artists.
"White foods are really hard to find," Mosher explained to those who gathered to see his work. Exhibitions like Mosher's, also, are really hard to find.
The exhibit is a peephole. There's really no other way to accurately describe it. The glass walls of the gallery have been boarded up like the curators are expecting World War III and the door is locked tight. If you gaze just right into the hole on the gallery's door, the phrase "the gallery is no place for artists" appears in a basic font. The text is actually written in reverse on an adjacent wall inside the room and reflected through the hole.
Mosher promises: That's the only thing inside.
The idea is to get visitors thinking about the role of the gallery when artists have begun working with materials that are increasingly hard to sell. Especially when, as Mosher puts it, "all of the good stuff is in museums."
Mosher was inspired by Yves Klein's 1950s exhibition The Void, where the French artist painted a nearly empty room completely white (hence the fattening nod to the color at the reception).
Mosher has had some time to study Klein and others; he has a Bachelors Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and is now after his Masters of Fine Arts in Intermedia from ASU. He says he's been trying to blur the lines between mediums and challenge perceptions of art during his time at the schools.
So after bringing an exhibition to Tempe in an attempt to challenge some perceptions, what does Mosher believe is the future of the gallery?
"That is up to you to decide," he says.
The Gallery is No Place for Artists runs until Friday at the ASU Step Gallery. The gallery is open from 12 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 12 to 3 p.m. on Friday.