Opening Reception: March 20, 2013 from 7:00-9:00pm
Central to all of Tim Ellis’ art is the idea that “a being has a primeval desire to want to belong to something greater than oneself.” This desire to belong manifests itself in both production and consumption of cultural artifacts. By researching, collecting and juxtaposing culturally diverse objects from once active societies, and by subtly reconfiguring their forms or abstracting from pre-existing designs, Ellis have built a collection of artifacts that appear as ready-made totems we have erected for ourselves.
From Chinoiserie pottery, Viking shields, alchemical orbs to all sorts of real and fake relics, the characteristics of the objects vary, some suggesting a harmless brotherhood, others more weighted with specific financial and political objectives. By assembling them in accordance with the various tiers of an imagined social structure, Ellis is able to conjure up the notions of clandestine rites, converted knowledge and membership exclusivity, offering a glimpse of the mechanisms of social order.
Whether displayed singularly or grouped in an installation the strategies employed in staging the works allow them to appear as ready-mades. The harmonious interaction between surface, object and display only serve to heighten the illusion. By weaving together historical facts and invention in this seamless manner, Ellis is really probing into the perceptions of symbolism and artifice versus artifact.