Exhibition title: Really Getting Somewhere Now
Artist: Mike Bernhardt
Exhibition space: RMCAD's Rude Gallery
In my role as artist, designer and inventor I begin with grand plans for improbable phenomena and work to achieve the best outcome possible for such intangible dreams. The result of this conceit may be a proposal drawing for a hook and loop belt or the construction of a silvery, faceted wall-mounted sculpture.
Ideas and objects are nearly interchangeable in my thinking. An object may be relatable for the way it reflects light, but it shares qualities with architectural models and therefore offers suggestions of something more monumental. In this way my proposals are temporary versions of fantastical ideals. My drawing for an ideal backpack, for instance, seemingly utilitarian, was begun with the premise that I should be able to physically represent something as intangible as a sense memory acquired in a specific location while traveling. The space between walls of Spain’s Tajo River Gorge ought to be a thing I can collect and carry with me conveniently. I begin with empty space, transform that into an amorphous geometric structure, finally translated as a backpack to be built and used.
There is an element of spectacle in this, and a necessary suspension of disbelief that comes in part from my early theatrical background in performance and scenic work. I hope to elicit a sense of universal possibility, that despite conflicting degrees of realization and a critical inner voice, these ideas are still conceivable.
Innovations, environmental proposals, prototypes, monuments and collected objects may all be equal when presented together and undifferentiated. A drawing or a model may provide the only clue about the meaning or purpose of an object seen elsewhere in an arrangement. Because I see all possibilities existing simultaneously and that ideas are primary, it remains my priority to invent across a range of media and to conceive of transformative shifts between the physical reality of an object or idea and my best hopes for it.
Works shown courtesy of the artist.