Graduate Theological Union
Mining the Collection: Site/Structure featuring David Sleeth
Doug Adams Gallery (inside the Badè Museum of Biblical Archeology), Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley
Each year, an artist is invited by the Doug Adams Gallery to create a body of work inspired by the Badè Museum of Biblical Archeology, and its collection of objects spanning a period of 3,000 years. The artist-in-residence gains access to the entire Badè collection, and, in consultation with museum staff, conducts research that informs their final exhibition. The Mining The Collection series fosters cross-disciplinary dialogue and brings to life significant Iron Age, Babylonian and Persian Period artifacts, placing them in a new contemporary context.
David Sleeth's Site/Structure opens with an unframed collage depicting stonewalls surrounding Tell en-Nasbeh, a site northwest of Jerusalem that was excavated by William Frederic Badè between 1926 and 1935. With a focus on experimental archeology and an interest in sculptural work, David Sleeth uses lithics (tools), iron implements, ceramics and other small artifacts, as well as original photographs of Tell en-Nasbeh, for a related series of pen and ink drawings. He also includes a sculptural piece made of wood, carved through the traditional process of burning and scraping, adding a dimension to this compelling study of material, fabrication and object.
"Overall, the idea is to open up the context of the archeology through artistic articulation. I want to create work that alludes to the beautiful qualities I recognize in historical objects without replacing them. Seeing artifacts of the everyday as ‘ready-mades’ awaiting further visual interpretation." – David Sleeth