Geof Oppenheimer: People Problems

All day
The University of Chicago Center in Beijing


A video of Geoff Oppenheimer’s talk can be found here.

Sculpture is predicated on the proposition that formal value is social value. That the forms given to things we surround ourselves with; our monuments, our media, our consumer cultures collectively belie our self-conceptions and our systems of value. Oppenheimer condenses these disparate sources of civic dialogue into form, attempting to foster a moral and cultural self-awareness – with our contradictions, problems and all. Materially, his practice is comprised of the things we surround ourselves with on a daily basis, politicizing in the broadest sense of the term material culture. It is a practice that is situated at the intersection of art and politics, but in such a way that neither art nor politics is reducible to the other term. Oppenheimer mobilizes this rift between the social and aesthetics, a rift that has been a significant feature of modern, western liberalism since the French Revolution to ask questions and tell stories of social order; what is representable vs. what cannot be, the document vs. fiction, and issues of detention and agency.

Geof Oppenheimer studied at the Maryland Institute, College of Art where he received his BFA and received an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Vorming in the Netherlands. He has participated in exhibitions such as The Gold Standard at PS1/MOMA, Long Island City NY; Restless Empathy at the Aspen Art Museum, Agitated Histories at The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore and The 2nd Biannual Exhibition, at LAX><ART in Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include Attitude Cinema, Pesaro Film Festival, Chiesa della Maddalena, Pesaro, Italy, SITE Santa Fe, and the Displaced Person, Invisible Exports, New York, NY. Solo exhibitions include those at Ratio 3, San Francisco, The Project, New York; MC, Los Angeles and at SF Camerawork, San Francisco. He is represented by Ratio 3, San Francisco. Publications include Attitudes, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea 2012, Restless Empathy, Aspen Art Museum/DAP 2010, Inside us all there is a part that would like to burn down our own house, Ratio3 2012. Geof Oppenheimer is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago and lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Geof Oppenheimer’s profile with Ratio 3 can be found here.

(Talks in China by Geof Oppenheimer were sponsored by the American Culture Exchange Center, a joint project between the University of Chicago and Shandong University.  This series was funded, in part, by the American Center for Educational Exchange.)