David A. Parker: On and Off the Grid at kasia kay art projects gallery
January 12—February 17, 2007,
Opening Reception January 12, 6—9 pm
kasia kay art projects gallery,
1044 W Fulton Market St. Chicago, IL 60607

David A. Parker uses humor, pathos and satire to comment on daily life and to raise a call for alternative thinking. Since relocating to suburbia in 2004, he has created works based on his own life that address larger social issues of control, conformity, and complacency. His photographs, sculpture and video works engage the uneasy tensions between acceptance and yearning, certainty and doubt, freedom and confinement.

In his “Escape Strategy Series” of large-scale photographs, Parker plays a character who strives to leave behind the sameness of tract housing and featureless landscape. His method: to use a trampoline to launch himself skyward, Superman-like, and soar off for parts unknown. The images are uplifting; at the same time, the doomed nature of this enterprise is pathetically clear. Another image from the series strikes a darker note. In a shot of the artist’s backyard, we see a landscape sectioned off by fences, neat lawns and car dealerships; in the foreground is what appears to be a hidden entrance to an underground tunnel, or perhaps to a grave; radically different forms of exit, in either case.

“Circuit” is a participatory sculpture made from a pocket billiard table that was discarded in Parker’s neighborhood. Starting with the ball-return system of channels that is normally unseen, he rebuilt the pool table, and invites people to run balls through the tracks. The balls’ movement in and out of play, above and below the visual plane, is offered as a metaphoric model for considering our own transit between this world and the next.

For Parker, aspects of modern life can give over to numbing routine and mental passivity. In response, he wants his works to implant notions of fantasy, mischief and subversion in the mind of the viewer in order to spur the imagination to envision something better. On and Off the Grid is his first solo exhibition.

David A. Parker is a Chicago-area artist whose conceptually-based work spans all media. He studied comparative literature at Cornell University and holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited at numerous venues in the US, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Macalester College in St. Paul, MN; currently, he is planning a 4-person exhibition to travel to Japan, Korea and China in summer 2007.

kasia kay art projects gallery represents contemporary art in a wide cultural context. The gallery shows works from both national and international artists and highlights new tendencies in the visual arts. One of the KKAP intentions is to incorporate pivotal artwork into diverse public arenas while simultaneously supporting the vision of contemporary artists. The gallery’s program is comprised of established and upcoming artists working in a variety of media, gallery exhibitions and curatorial projects, as well as one-time, site-specific installations, which often take place in public space environments. By promoting a diverse group of artists, the gallery wishes to create a continuous dialogue with both a local and global community.