Working in a variety of media, Todd Pavlisko subversively mines the inner workings of the “institution”– be it cultural, social, or corporate. One of the featured works in this exhibition is the ongoing installation Trophy Member, 2003-present, which asks the pertinent questions that evolve from the process of developing institutional support and membership. The answers are as varied as the individuals who consider and contribute to the financial stability of every type of cultural organization. “I am particularly interested in the courtship between the institution and the patron — the symbiotic phenomenon that gives rise to cultural hierarchy and provides a setting for civic responsibility.” The membership campaign launched in 2003 with the solicitation of members offered varied degrees of accessibility — i.e. ascending in cost as they increase in privilege. The artist states “the classic manner of inclusion allowed people to separate themselves out by category.” With their names and membership levels now engraved on a plaque and attached to a trophy, the member/patron has a specific affiliation to this expanding, concrete installation, in effect redirecting financial support from the “establishment.”
In 2004, Pavlisko’s sculpture Fountain (an industrial drinking fountain dispensing red wine) was included in the exhibition “Nothing Compared to This (ambient, incidental and new minimal tendencies in recent art)” at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. This sculpture along with other new work will be featured in our booth at LISTE: The young art fair in Basel June 14-19. Performance is in integral part of his practice and Pavlisko has performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, MOCA Cleveland, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, as well as Het West-Indisch Huis, Amsterdam, Holland. Pavlisko received his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2002).