Seven Doors: Jan Tichy and the Chiaroscuro of Art Museum Collecting
In this unique presentation, artist Jan Tichy (b. 1974, Czech, resides in Chicago) has devised a special installation in direct response to the Museum’s current position in its 75-year history―on the brink of a transformative renovation, with the vibration and sound of concrete demolition palpable. The Museum is typically celebrated for the art that it displays. But in the situation of systematic overhaul for renovation in which SBMA finds itself, suddenly some doors that are habitually open, must be closed. Tichy is known for his time-based video installations, which are typically motivated by a specific social and institutional situation. In this case, the institution of the Museum is at a turning point in its evolution. Working with SBMA curators and with full access to the Museum’s rich documentation, which has recently been organized and mostly digitized in anticipation of the Museum’s 75th-anniversary year now underway, Tichy has combined his own work with seven objects that he has plucked from the Museum’s vast permanent collection. The result is a stunning, visually elegant, and meaningful exhibition in the hallowed spaces of the original 1912 post office structure, which was later designated the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1941.