Poster for 2013 exhibition, 'R.U.R.'
Designed and printed by The MVA Studio
3 colors on French 100# cover stock
Edition of 48
R.U.R. is a group exhibition that showcases the best projects from across North America, gathered during our annual call for submissions. The Soap Factory’s historic building is a raw and undeveloped industrial space, which, from its construction in 1882, has witnessed all of the political, economic and scientific changes that C20th industrial culture inflicted upon the world. For R.U.R., nine artists will create new work for our 12,000 sq ft gallery space.
The exhibition’s title, R.U.R. comes from Rossum’s Universal Robots, the 1921 Czech play by Karel Capek’s that first coined the word ‘robot’. Rossum’s Universal Robots gave life to the concept of the artificial man, the tireless worker who also, in their conflicted inhumanity, became rebellious and worked instead to overthrow their masters. The nine artists in R.U.R. will look at the role of direct work in the creation of the art object, the meaning of craft and the hand in the age of mechanical reproduction. Like the ‘robots’ in Rossum’s Universal Robots, these site-specific works question the manufacture of human identity inherent in the notion of work, and seek to understand whether the construction of identity in humans is as artificial as that of the ‘robot’; a reflexive analysis of the construction of identity in inanimate objects.