Cedric Tai

2014

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Advertising for "We Need More ________!" slipped into the racks of Cafe 1923 in Hamtramck
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The drawing machine right before it's use.
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Powered by electric toothbrushes.
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Leaving a trail of sawdust from my studio like a gigantic spiralgraph.
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Walking by one of the artist proofs of 'Ephemeral Prints' made with silkscreen ink and charcoal powder.
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Installation view of the front of Gallery 1
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Three works to look through, each one an edition of ''The Speed of Learning'' (handmade book). For more information see my contribution to Chido Johnson's Love Library.
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Spoiler Alert: This is what is inside each of the books. Sorry I've ruined the surprise for you, but that's what you get for looking at artwork online, you only have yourself to blame.
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"World Clock" A map with punched out holes, a light and timer. It makes a full turn over 24 hours and the dots were made in accordance to the light visible from earth as documented by NASA.
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Meanwhile in Gallery 2...
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''Office Space - Indefinite Residency'' - Dry erase board, wood, shelves, books, desk, legos, miscellaneous toys, office supplies, art supplies, books, works in progress and artist archive
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A portion of the references related to work, instructions, or the careers of artists.
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"Work Harder" Paper and metal. Each day of the month is in a different font that at the time was listed as one of the 'most popular' fonts available online. You can change the design but the message stays the same.
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''Office Work'' A copy machine. The machine is pre-loaded with artwork by various collaborators I have worked with over the years and next to it is a kind of 'play area' containing mostly office supplies and legos. When a visitor uses it, their imagery is mashed together creating an unexpected new image.
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Other views from around the cubicle
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The full set of editioned prints of ''Ephemeral Prints'' that run from the front to the back of the gallery.

Accompanying Text from the exhibition

Cedric Tai
We Need More ________!
March 22 through April 19, 2014

''We Need More ________!'' co-opts the space and function of Re:View Contemporary to produce new artworks that reflect on the absurdity of art and life.

One of the works that Cedric Tai hopes you have received is a postcard stating ''I'm handing you a postcard''. This is the entrance to the show, asking the audience to consider the ''why of production as opposed to the what'' (Gillick, Liam. The Good of Work. 2009).

The west side of the gallery is a reconstruction of the artists' studio/office complete with in process works. Tai posits that while artists attempt to make work that questions and mirrors reality, our careers do not provide an alternative to working within a neoliberal structure with its ceaseless demands. The artist is the ideal since every moment is capitalized on and every opportunity is seized.

Upon returning to Detroit from completing an MFA in Glasgow in 2013, Tai has become concerned with sentiments such as ''Detroit Hustles Harder'' and the increased amount of arts funding geared towards socially engaged work. Both assume the need for individuals to fill in the gaps left by diminishing social services. The exhibition title pulls from what author Dan Ariely expresses in Predictably Irrational, that our decision-making is clouded by an illusion of ''freedom of choice.'' Although we are invited to actively participate in the creation of meaning, it is more likely that we are making choices within a designed system that highly influences our decisions. To what degree are we autonomous to these overarching structures?

These scenarios play out differently in each space revealing anxiety in both restructuring and rejecting the barriers of artwork in a gallery context. The artist contends that we are not simply stuck in a loop. We already act out concepts that we have been told to be suspicious of, from anarchy to agnosticism: sharing resources, being a hermit, stealing time from employers, etc. Every day people find ways to resist work in order to make space for how we want to play or be challenged.

Cedric Tai in conversation with Vince Carducci