Ryan Kelly Herculean: On Artistic Labor

Nov 7th - Nov 30th, 2008

Artist Statement

I have had a waning and waxing relationship with humor in my work. In this whole-hearted return to the absurd, I am working through a far-reaching allegory for artistic labor. The sometimes daunting physical demands and elusive payouts of my aesthetic pursuits have led me to this joking comparison to Hercules and his twelve, near-impossible tasks.

Certainly there is some hubris in this.

With my foundation and background in a craft medium, my starting point will always be the well made, appropriately made object. The much labored, crafted object that is a testament to my work ethic. This project, taking the form of remnants and props for these twelve labors, furthers an evolution in my work from the static object, to the performative (functional if you will) object. My day is not done of course until I see these things put to their intended use. This project continues beyond this exhibition, but for this context, I present the objects of my making and my self-imposed tasks.

Ryan Kelly