Melissa Barrett, John Delk, Philip Sirois, Sanford Wintersberger, Rachael Wren, and a mural by Eve Biddle
A small group show curated by Repetti director Sam Farnsworth celebrates the psychological state of Funktionlust, or Flow, in the varied working practices of six emerging artists.
Included here is art that emanates from, brings about, or takes as its subject the intuitive, meditative state of mind that the psychologists Karl Buhler and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi have called Funktionlust, and Flow, respectively. Csikszentmihalyi describes this state of mind as the “pleasurable sensation an organism experiences when it is completely involved in an activity for its own sake, and functioning according to his/her own physical and sensory potential.” This activity might be the artist’s creative process, the gallery visitor’s enterprise of looking and thinking, or perhaps, in a relational sense, some connection of the two.
On February 14, 2010, New York Times critic Roberta Smith chronicled today’s art world: “What’s missing is art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand… curators need to think less about an artist’s career…and more in terms of an artist’s life’s work pursued over time with increasing concentration and singularity.” While Funktionlust honors this kind of work, (or is it play?) made directly by the artist according to his/her intuition, the show also looks to connect these interior processes to the viewer, and a larger social context.
Eve Biddle’s mural leads the visitor on an inward journey from the street, to the gallery façade, down an interior corridor and into the gallery itself. Melissa Barrett buries a site-specific aquarium, made from recycled materials (and incorporating a video), directly into one gallery wall. Sanford Wintersberger displays a golden computer mouse that offers entry into an expansive, but introspective place. The paintings of both Philip Sirois and Rachael Wren reflect an automatic process of creation, and seem to generate a similar type of visual experience. James Delk’s video installation depicts the yearly repetition of a certain popular New York tradition that might be understood as a 21st century sacred ritual.