Press Release: Art That's Really Moving and Can't Leave It Alone

From Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program


Posted on August 06, 2003

"Art That's Really Moving" "Can't Leave It Alone"

New Installations by Timothy Fort and Gerald Smith

August 1 to September 21, 2003 The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minneapolis-The consequence of putting things in motion is the focus of two new installations on view August 1 through September 21, 2003, at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Organized by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program, "Art That's Really Moving" features ongoing video footage of Timothy Fort's whimsical kinetic gadgetry, and Gerald Smith's "Can't Leave it Alone" presents a working studio including a host of cast artificial satellites and silent documentary films. Both featured artists first began their creative inquiries in the realm of science -Fort in aerospace engineering and Smith in biology-but manifest their inquiry into movement in radically different ways.

Timothy Fort lives in a state of pure play and what he calls "a happy little mix of art and science." He is obsessed with creating kinetic arrangements of dominos, Popsicle sticks, playing cards, and other select objects, all designed to move precisely through time and space when "detonated" with one simple push. For the past several years, Fort has created countless kinetic arrangements in his apartment, where he videotapes the results. When describing the process, Fort says, "It involves a lot of math," and in the next breath he explains that dominoes fall at a rate of 42 per second, whereas sticks fall at 28 per second. Ironically, the success of Fort's arrangements is determined by how well they are undone: the perfect resolution of the creative act being its ultimate disappearance, the simple spectacle of things falling down.

Gerald Smith also appreciates the entertainment value of art, but he pushes it to explore the overlapping realms of cosmology, epistemology, biology, and aesthetics. Through his art, Smith brokers fundamental questions about existence, the limits of human understanding, and the structure of the universe. As a biologist turned conceptual artist, Smith finds that he is more capable of pursuing questions about why we are here and where we might be going through experiments, structures, and images that are aesthetically based. And yet what really distinguishes his process is his frequent flight across the conventional boundaries of inquiry, his application of one field to another, and his successful use of a variety of media, including film, sculpture, photography, performance, drawing, text, and site-specific installation.

"Art That's Really Moving" and "Can't Leave it Alone" are presented by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program, an artist-run curatorial department of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which is made possible by generous support of Jerome Foundation.

Related Events An opening reception for "Art That's Really Moving" and "Can't Leave it Alone" is scheduled for Thursday, July 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. Gerald Smith will lead a gallery tour of "Can't Leave it Alone" on Thursday, September 4, at 7 p.m. A Critic's Trialogue featuring critics Michael Fallon and Glenn Gordon in conversation with the artists and the public will take place in MAEP gallery on Thursday, September 11, at 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

About The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Ranked among the top ten comprehensive U.S. art museums, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is dedicated to bringing art to life for everyone. In a beautiful landmark building near downtown Minneapolis, the museum houses over 100,000 works of art, representing more than 5,000 years of world history. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum Hours: Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Thursday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For additional information, call Visitor and Member Services at (612) 870-3131 or visit