For his first solo museum exhibition, Daniel G. Baird invites us to contemplate the different mythologies that shape our cultures and everyday lives—past, present, and future. With references to archaeological practices and display strategies, Baird presents objects that evoke a sense of wonder and timelessness. A 30 million year old fossilized tortoise shell; large-scale casts of a cave wall; digital 3D designed and printed hardware; what do all these things have in common? Through and around them, narratives new and old are created, and these mythologies attempt to organize and make sense of the world in which we live. Yet, like the allegory of Plato’s cave, Baird’s works of art are also shadows of other things, ideas, and beliefs. They remind us of all we don’t know, or struggle to comprehend. The meaning and significance of these objects are to be continually sought after, questioned, and scrutinized—like metaphors, always in the making. For in the end, what do we know? And how do we know what we know?
Field Station is an annual cycle of projects that features work by artists at different moments in their careers. With a particular focus on new terrain, whether new work or a new direction in an artist’s practice, the series emphasizes the importance of research by offering a space for artists to develop ideas that may be in the early stages of conception or articulation. Field Station approaches art as a complex language that involves many forms and draws upon different disciplines, from engineering, physics, and agriculture to literature, history, and technology. The notion of a field station specifically points to the importance of experimentation and the idea of the museum as software—a flexible structure that is constantly expanding beyond its walls (the hardware), wherein artists are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines at Michigan State University. The exhibitions change every two months, allowing six artists to participate in each year’s program. At the end of each cycle, a publication will be produced to report the “findings” from the Field Station. The series is curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates and Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curators.
Field Station: Daniel G. Baird is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curator. Support for this series is provided by the MSU Federal Credit Union.