THE SUB-MISSION is pleased to present The Path of Storm and Flood, a site-specific installation by Peter Skvara that advocates for a metaphysical interpretation of archaeology. An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 11 from 6 to 8pm. The show continues through Saturday, October 24, 2015.
Our linear conceptions of time are a lie. Peter Skvara’s site-specific installation, The Path of Storm and Flood, challenges the myth of an objective archaeological record, which is established by excavating layers of soil known as “strata” and carbon dating exhumed objects. It is by these methods that a historical record of material culture, and therefore of culture in general, is created. Skvara posits that soil stratigraphy is an unreliable narrator, unintentionally misleading its human audience as to the history of the Earth, as it is affected by climate, geology, and human intervention. These factors alter the global distribution of soil depth and disrupt the archaeologist’s neutral measurement of passing time.
Skvara’s large-scale, multi-wall painting, Timeline (Survey), is a passive map of the past we have constructed for ourselves, a guidebook of objects located arbitrarily in time and space, articulated with an abstracted composition of unfamiliar objects and familiar textures expressed in paint and collaged photographs. Timeline (Survey) initiates a dialogue with its companion piece, Feature/Slope, a sculpture that evokes an active archaeological site still in the process of being mined for information and objects. Presenting a subjective interpretation of history, Feature/Slope alludes to our active role as participants in Earth’s history. The activity evoked by Feature/Slope is in tension with the stasis of Timeline (Survey), establishing a relationship of giving and receiving analogous to soil life cycles. Ultimately, Skvara asserts the falsehood of a history constructed upon assumptions and educated guesses made out of an attempt to rationalize, define and measure reality.
PETER SKVARA (b. 1985, American) lives and works in Chicago, IL. He received a BA from Columbia College Chicago in 2009. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Approaches at ANDREW RAFACZ, Regenerations at Brushwood Center for the Arts, RTC and Friends at Western Exhibitions, Resource and New Wave at Jean Albano, Get It Together at the Chicago Cultural Center, WowHaus at Johalla Projects and BUNK at The Happy Collaborationists Exhibition Space. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections.