‘Zones’ gets you out of your zone at Peerless Gallery

by Sally Deskins

It’s quite typical to have your space invaded at an art opening—people drinking wine, gossiping in circles, bumping elbows and hovering to see the art on the walls.  It’s quite atypical to have your space encroached on in a gallery by a kinetic sculpture—a remote-control-car driven wooden trailer.

Such is the case for Zones, an exhibit at the Peerless Gallery featuring Minneapolis-based artist Mitchell Dose whose drawings, sculptural objects and kinetic installation play with the interaction of an object within the ebb and flow of traffic patterns in a given space.

The dynamics of the gallery as well as the exhibit are definitely challenged with the show-stopping wooden trailer which is operated by visitors to roam around the place as people view other pieces and socialize. Such is the enjoyment of the piece, said Dose.

“The welcome invitation of interaction is what’s exciting,” he said. “Some might be hesitant to interact at first with a sense of puzzlement. Then there will be a process of figuring it out, discussing how it works with others and stepping back.”

Dose experiments with place by decreasing its scale with his miniature, metal-crafted hay bale trailer and an abstract drawing representation of a wheat-field.  It is somewhat off-putting, viewing these familiar environments crafted in new ways into the abnormal environment of an art show, but that questioning is the purpose, he explained.

Zones is where places are liberated via a long process, asking, where could it theoretically go? I want people to question: how does this make you feel?”

Some work in the show is less serious, such as the “hair items” that he crafted out of found objects.  A comb Dose created out of driftwood found on a beach somewhere can be viewed as both theoretical and useful.

The work, serious, theoretical, abstract or representational, is engaging and unpretentious, a perspective probably exercised regularly as he works and teaches children about art, science and technology.

“Kids have this direct sense of art as a representational idea, this abstract sense of play that is adjacent to direct ideas which definitely comes out in my work.”

Caleb Coppock, one of Peerless Gallery’s curators, met Dose while they were both art students at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

“Dose has tremendous vision and broad ideas for what is possible,” Coppock said. “He has a great work ethic and his ability to take the ordinary items and create inventions out of basic materials is inspirational.”

Dose and Coppock acknowledge that “some people might not totally understand the ambiguity” of the show, but that’s okay. The true intention is to encourage wandering, exploring and playing with expectations.

Dose’s Zones will be up for play through November 26 at Peerless, 3157 Farnam. For details visit wearepeerless.com.

posted at 08:14 pm
on Friday, November 04th, 2011

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