The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art believes in the power of the art of our time. Through programming, advocacy, and collaboration, we work with artists and communities to build a better world.

Jennifer Seely: Supporting Elements

May 13, 2016 – Sep 24, 2016

Exploration, intrusive investigation, research and analysis are the foundation of Jennifer Seely’s project Supporting Elements. As a forensic architect, Seely applies her architectural background, understanding of construction and proper installation of construction materials to investigate failing building envelopes (walls, windows, roofing systems, etc.), fire resistive assemblies, and improperly built buildings.

Historically, the intent of the gallery space, and the elements it is composed of, is to provide a quiet, understated background for artists’ work while safeguarding the viewers’ “health, safety and general welfare” as the building code typically requires.[1] In essence, the gallery is meant to disappear. Seely incorporates these concepts into her professional practice. Supporting Elements draws attention to the materials that create the space in which artwork is displayed.

By constructing works that both breakdown and illustrate methods utilized to camouflage structural components, Seely inverts the tradition of gallery as backdrop. The viewer is prompted to examine the elements in the gallery that assist in providing a safe and pleasant space within the building as the artwork itself.

[1] 2006 International Building Code, Section 101.3 Intent

Supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts.