The Morton Street Gallery
March 12 – June 11, 2019
Daniel Zeese is an artist, curator, designer, and educator practicing in Boston. Through many media types he builds landscape narratives that question ideas of ecology, population, belonging, and identity within nature and a built environment. His work seeks to identify what is the membrane between wilderness and civilization, who gets placed there, and who defines that space. His work recognizes the space defined by that adjacency and the populist organization of people to belong on either side of it. Those people, often outnumbered, are pushed to the fringe of what is accepted within civilization. Though celebrated from a distance they are threatened to exile by the powers of the majority.
This work reacts to the continued history of violence within cities against the people who, while defining the cultural identity of a landscape, are often misunderstood, attacked and objectified. Later we experience the outcome, the resulting martyrdom, through the master cultural narrative. While the focus of the work is on people, objects and landscape also take leading rolls. Themes he is exploring are the icon of the stranger and the imaginary landscape.
Icon of the Strangers: The identity of a person through human or animal representation, or objects that describe the actions of a person and how they use space.
“As an effort in trying to give identity to victims I started making these taxidermy deer heads dressed in fringe. At that time I had been working on fringe sculptures and thinking about the word “fringe.” On one hand it is a textile, but fringe also defines, without specifics, a culture that embodies the least acceptable qualities allowed in society. These deer trophies, which have always associated as hyper-masculine objects, are dress in an ephemeral vail. clothing oneself is the first act of conveying that you are willing to abide by the rules of society. These creatures live within that membrane between the city and the wilderness, now presenting themselves within civilization. They are softer versions of what we would otherwise fear if confronted with. We project narratives upon these icons. We first approach them with a bit of fear, but we leave them having played with their textiles, talking directly to them like they can be heard.
My bound objects also places the viewer as a stranger. The brooms and tools reflect a domestic burden, evoking the tactile effort of chores and pleasures. The static objects suggest a performance. These are objects we recognize but cannot name. Like a child seeing something for the first time, we intuit what it is we are looking at. Recognizing their scale and how they may be held. We imagine how they operate as an extension of our body and the actions we would take to use them. This is a feeling of mystery, like seeing into a strangers tool shed. We question who uses these? why are they used? on what or who? and is something wrong with the way we live our lives for having to figure this out. ”
The Imaginary Landscape: Objects that, in combination or assembly, describe a shared environment or system.
“The imaginary landscape takes many forms in my work. Recently, it has shown itself as our moon transformed to a cube. This reconsideration of shape leads to new understandings of ideas of phases, fullness, fulfillment, and emptiness. The phase cycle of the cube moon questions time, religion, and gender against what we have always taken as truths. At its root, the imaginary landscape is something that is recognized in our shared reality but is also slightly off. It makes us consider what is not right in our perception, and how that changes everyone who experiences it.
This also takes its form in my printed textiles. The process for these is taking hundreds of scans of sections of environments, plants, objects, and people with a document scanner. I collage them into a life size chiffon prints. The representation of each scan is at the same scale within the depicted environment. The scans represent all information as equal. The resulting vignette is a fictional narrative rooted in honest information down to the smallest details.”
Daniel received a Bachelors of Fine Arts, Sculpture and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and a Masters in Architecture from Boston Architectural College in 2015. Since 2012 he has worked internationally as the Design Director for the art studio of Janet Echelman. He has had notable residencies as an inaugural resident for Boston Harbor Now, at the Wassaic Project, and Vermont Studio Center, where he is returning as a Pollock Krasner Fellow.
The Morton Street Gallery is our satellite gallery in Exhibit ‘A’ Brewery located at 81 Morton Street, Framingham, MA 01702.
Exhibit ‘A’ Hours:
Wed-Thurs: 3pm – 9pm
**All artwork for sale, please call Amazing Things for prices: 508-405-2787. A portion of proceeds go to our Galleries, but the majority goes to supporting local artists like Daniel!