Sewanee’s Carlos and University Art Galleries are pleased to present Glenn Herbert Davis’ a Pale; place into parts, a two-part installation exploring demarcations of space and definitions of place. A “pale” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a stake, fence or boundary....” By extension, a pale is also a domain, a territory, or a field of knowledge. To go “beyond the pale” is to violate boundaries; to behave in a way that transgresses acceptable limits. A simple piece of wood driven into the ground is a statement about power. Are you in or are you out?
In his work Glenn Herbert Davis explores “relationships between the individual human body and (contrived) systems....” By creating buildings, tools and pieces of furniture that frustrate viewer’s expectations about function and use, he seeks to challenge the assumptions that inform our behavior as we respond to our environment. Davis cites a diverse range of influences for his work. These include architects like Gerrit Rietveld, for his engagement with materials, and artists like Chris Burden, for the challenges he posed to the limitations of his own body. They also include the films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, for the witty and practical triumph of their characters over impersonal systems. Davis received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2000. He was recently awarded a 2010 Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.
A significant portion of the lumber used in these installations was salvaged. This was made possible by the diligent efforts of Sewanee’s Physical Plant Services, as well as Associate Professor Greg Pond, Tyler Cooney, and the University Art Gallery’s team of gallery attendants. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.