David B. Smith Gallery is hosting "Then and now and then," an exhibition of new works by interdisciplinary artist Tobias Fike, through July 11, 2014. Fike’s work maintains a personal, at times biographical, bent with a simple, approachable style that is balanced with incredible nuance and a foundation of rigorous conceptual inquiry. For Then and now and then, Fike continues to explore the passage of time and his experience of it, while offering relatable insights to any and all viewers.
A cornerstone of the exhibition, the site-specific installation, Accumulation: A Mountain of Stars, is a ten-foot-tall pyramid of cardboard boxes representing the 75 stars, in 41 constellations, that are visible to the naked eye at 38 light-years away. The work, while offering a captivating sculptural form, functions as a visual measure for the artist’s time on earth. The material structure of the work, generic cardboard boxes, is a common, somewhat generic agent—while the final impression, a rising, twinkling collage of the night sky, creates a temporal mapping of Fike’s specific existence through the time that the light has now traveled through space.
In addition to two videos, the exhibition will feature several projection-based sculptural works, as well as a series of photographic works by Fike and frequent collaborator, artist Matthew Harris. Their collaborative performance work and the resulting forms of its documentation and corollary works explore the relational, energetic combining of their personal forms and energies, as well as concepts of play, performance, and masculinity. For this exhibition, Fike and Harris have answered a 2011 performance, titled Repeated failures of trying to do what we thought we were doing with a second project, titled Night Tracing. The six photographs in the exhibition embody the dynamism that is inherent to their performances, while functioning as frozen tableaus chronicling aspects of these actions: perseverance, formal inquiry, as well as the role of experimentation and chance.