Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford brings to the Arts Club of Chicago garden a modern-day take on the classical “gipsoteca,” or cast room. Conceived as a method to give aspiring artists access to antique statuary, plaster copies were collected and housed in beaux-arts academies as a pedagogical tool. In the current context of digital imprinting and indexing techniques, Hulsebos-Spofford reconsiders the neoclassical copy and offers a garden of multiples gone slightly awry. The ubiquitous eighteenth-century garden folly Hercules replicates fragments of itself as a cancerous mutation, while other commercially-derived objects multiply in serial form. Reproduction emerges as a cypher of taste and value, signaling status and social relations. As the artist explains, “The works address the wayward tendency of the cast and copy in our contemporary moment—from digital copies to mass produced garden sculptures to mass shared and experienced cat content online. My works poetically gather up dispersed copies made for our gluttonous world and focus them into singular objects.”
Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford is a visual artist and Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Indiana University Northwest. He is also the co-director and founder of the collective Floating Museum. His work has been shown at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The UCSD Art Gallery, The Glass Curtain Gallery and The Hyde Park Art Center, among other spaces. He has held fellowships at the Sculpture Space, the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, the Brown Foundation Program at the Dora Maar House, and the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting. His work has been supported by grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Harpo Foundation, the Propeller Fund, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship in Sicily. Recent exhibitions and projects include a public project titled River Assembly on the Chicago River, an exhibition titled How to give life to a mountain at the DuSable Museum and a British Council Arts and Social Practice Fellowship.