Under the cover of darkness or masquerading as architectural conservators, artists Daniel G. Baird and Haseeb Ahmed collect fragments of architectural, ornamental and natural formations from around the world. They make molds on-site directly from their chosen objects. These disparate fragments are then reconciled to construct a single ‘universalized space’. For Baird and Ahmed, these installations become ‘reverse site-specific’.
For their project at Roots and Culture, the artists take inspiration from the architectural interiors of Frank Lloyd-Wright and the archive of historical artifacts at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago to transform the gallery space into an immersive installation.
DANIEL G. BAIRD (b. 1984) received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and MFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2011. Recent Solo exhibitions include 'Meridian' at Robert Bills Contemporary, Chicago, IL and 'This New Ocean,' at Appendix Project Space, Portland OR. Recent Group exhibitions include Bowling Alone, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Merge Visible, Prairie Productions, Chicago, IL. He will have a solo exhibition at the Institute of Jamais-Vu in London this April.
HASEEB AHMED(b. 1985) is a Brussels based artist. He holds a BFA in sculpture and architecture and a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he became a founding member of the group Platypus. In 2010 Haseeb received his Masters of Science from the Art, Culture, and Technology Program at MIT. He has exhibited his collaborative and solo work internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, De Appel Contemporary Art Center in Amsterdam, and Manifesta in Genk Belgium.
Haseeb is currently a research fellow at the Zurich University of the Arts on the project Size Matters and has been an artist in resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht the Netherlands, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Sitterwerk in St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is working on the Fish Bone Chapel to be exhibited in September at Naturalis Natural History Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands for the Artists and Designers for Genomics Award.