Embedded Metaphor exhibition
21 through November 24, 1996
Sleeping and dreaming, conception and birth, lovemaking and illness
provide the reasons why most of us spend at least one-third of our lives in
bed. This staging ground has figured prominently in much figurative art of
the past, but it is only since the 1980s that a significant number of
artists have "liberated" the bed, so to speak, from its usual figurative
context and used it independently as a viable subject for representation.
Embedded Metaphor examines the work of artists who mine this
psychologically-charged piece of furniture for its metaphoric potential; as
a marker for the shifting border between private and public space; and asl a
pace where the unconscious roams freely and delivers up our dreams. Today's
artists have shown that, as a repository for memory, the bed also can evoke
a surprising range of emotions, including fear, desire, vulnerability, pain,
passion, nurturing, loss and reconciliation as well as thoughts of sex,
illness, and death.
The artists whose works are part of Embedded Metaphor reveal to us a new
twist to our classic concept of the bed. Once it is removed from its
traditional domestic setting of the bedroom, the bed often is used by them
to examine the public dimension of private experience.
Among the artists included in Embedded Metaphor are Janet Biggs, James
Caseberre, Mel Chin, Lynne Cohen, Oliver Herring, Dale Kistemaker, Lauren
Lesko, Donald Lipski, Antonio Martorell, Ann Messner, Lorie Novak, Rona
Pondick, Elaine Reichek, Catherine Saalfield and Zoe Leonard, Jana Sterbak,
Rirkrit Tiravenija and Ton Zwerver.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay
by guest curator Nina Felshin, a New York-based independent curator and
writer, and the editor of But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism.
Embedded Metaphor will be on view in the Museum's West Galleries from
September 21 to November 24.
Embedded Metaphor is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by
Independent Curators Incorporated, New York, a non-profit traveling
exhibition service specializing in contemporary art. Guest curator for the
exhibition is Nina Felshin. This exhibition and its related programs were
made possible by the State of Florida, Department of State, Sandra B.
Mortham, Secretary of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida
Arts Council; the Ringling Museum's Fine Arts Endowment Program Fund which
is funded in part by a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the
Arts, a federal agency, and a matching grant from the State of Florida,
Department of State; the Saunders Foundation Endowment; and RISCORP, the
Ringling Museum's Season Sponsor.
SEPTEMBER 21-NOVEMBER 24
Tours of the exhibition
"The Bed as Metaphor in Contemporary Art"
Tours are offered at 11:00 AM and 2:15 PM Monday through Friday. Adult
and school group tours are offered by appointment. For information call