"Why we do this" is a new solo project at The Soap Factory in which Minnesota artist Andy DuCett stitches together fragments of pop culture, workaday symbols and collective memory to create a single 12,000 sq ft site-specific installation.
Closing Reception and Estate Sale: November 10th, 7-11pm
DuCett’s practice revolves around objects and the histories those objects bring to each installation. After 3 years of planning, building and collecting for “Why we do this,” the closing reception and estate sale is an opportunity for the many objects within the installation to disperse once again. In addition to the thousands of National Geographic Magazines, LPs and amazing thift store finds, DuCett will also be selling some of the custom-built objects from “Why we do this.” Popular items like the giant 6-pack, Vermeer reproduction and larger-than-life game of Battleship will be for sale during the closing reception. At the closing reception you can take a red rose and have your photo taken with “Fabio,” grab a beer from the small-town bar, or run onto the football field through the players tunnel showered in cheers and high-fives from your teammates.
Learn more about "Why we do this," listen to and interview with Andy DuCett on The Soapcast
The Soap Factory is a unique space for the development and presentation of contemporary art; to utilize the entirety of the space is a particular and fascinating challenge for an artist. Why we do this is a new solo project in which Minnesota artist Andy DuCett, working in residence at The Soap Factory, extends and develops his practice, addressing a series of themes regarding memory, work, loss and leisure, extending his existing drawing practice into sculpture and installation.
Working closely with The Soap Factory over the past two years, DuCett has created a cultural amalgam of installation, video, drawing and performance, offering visitors the opportunity to engage deeply with the shared cultural memories of the American Midwest. A single installation for the 12,000 square feet of The Soap Factory gallery space, Why we do this stitches together fragments of pop culture, workaday symbols and collective memory to create a single shared experience, an elegy of working-class aspiration. At moments directly interactive, at other times purely spectacle, encompassing poignancy, sentimentality and humor, Why we do this allows visitors to immerse themselves in a series of interlocking and varied vignettes and performances. In experiences both literal and allusive, visitors can challenge a friend to a giant game of Battleship, peruse a thrift store, paddle a canoe through the Boundary Waters, run with the team onto the football field, witness an alien abduction, watch the clouds roll by from the seat of an airplane, or catch a glimpse of a Sasquatch through the window of a log cabin.
DuCett utilizes the visual language of natural history dioramas in his detailed full-size installations, juxtaposing contrasting cultural references throughout the exhibition. While large scale installation is a new direction for the artist, the non- linear arrangement of Why we do this links to DuCett’s established drawing practice in which the viewer’s eye is invited to wander throughout his multi-layered picture plane, playing with both formal dimension and cultural concept. This exhibition has no prescribed path, no single curatorial narrative to follow. The overlapping of a multiplicity of environments mimics the way we all access our memories—hopping from one tangent to the next—as the mundane tasks of the work day allow our minds to wander to fantastic places.
In DuCett’s own words; “Why we do this is about the things that we do and the places that we go, the things we fondly recall, and those which aren’t appreciated until we have the hindsight to do so.”