Continuing through February 20, 2016
Typically, we find ourselves staring at the ceiling under the most tedious of circumstances: lying in a hospital bed, waiting in lines that never seem to move, on the clock at a job that is so monotonous that we can’t even bear to lay eyes on our surroundings any longer. The ceiling is what we look at when we’re imagining that we are somewhere, anywhere else. For Chicago-based artist Chris Bradley, ceilings, the most banal of scenes, are his subject matter.
Suspended from the rafters of this hanger-like South Loop space are miniature replicas of the ceilings of completely unspecial places. Tiny cardboard cutouts of donuts and coffee cups hang from a drop ceiling and fluorescent lights in a facsimile of a deli ceiling. Signs indicating genres like “Foreign,” “Comedy” and “Western” are commingled amongst tube lights and tiny security cameras at a video store. Still others are completely anonymous, with plain white, crumbly-looking tiles. A viewer must walk beneath these little ceilings, from one to another, one’s neck stiff from peering straight upward for an extended period of time. In “Ceilings,” Bradley’s signature, deadpan humor is at its best as he merges the active viewing experience with one of idleness, as the one aspect of interior architecture that is never really meant to be noticed is the only thing there is to look at.