PLATFORM 7: Tory Fair, Testing a World View (Again)

DeCordova Exhibits
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On View Jul 19, 2011 - Jun 05, 2012
Exhibition Location: Pollack Terrace

Boston-based sculptor Tory Fair creates objects and installations that address the gap between the real and imagined and what is physical and what is felt. In her most recent work she explores the relationship between the body and nature through cast, figurative sculpture. As part of deCordova’s ongoing PLATFORM series, in which the Museum invites emerging and mid-career artists to create work specifically for deCordova's site, Fair presents Testing a World View (Again) for the Pollack Family Terrace. 

As the artist notes, “our imagination [is] part of our resources and part of our nature. My sculptures intend to endorse the perception that nature is the imagination; that nature is ourselves; and that nature is our surroundings however urban, deserted, bucolic, or wild they may be.” 

Fair cast her body in pink resin with aluminum leafing in a seated, contemplative pose that forms a simple, 90-degree angle. Tiny flowers swarm her head as materialized thoughts which are alive as they press and impress a relationship to the world. Four of these resin figures are sited on and around the terrace in unexpected positions to suggest both humor and humility in the experience of the body in contact with its variable surroundings. Fair's figures ‘test a world view’ through thought and their physical positioning, asking the viewer to do the same. 

Testing a World View (Again) also directly references the work of British sculptor Antony Gormley, whose work Reflection II, 2008 greets deCordova’s visitors at the Museum’s entrance. In 1993 he presented Testing a World View, an installation of five identical cast iron figures of his own body at right angles posed throughout a museum gallery, articulating the different relationships between the human figure and architectural space, and between interior and exterior experiences. Fair reinterprets Gormley's seminal work in an outdoor gallery space with her own figure, in pink resin, and covered with flowers. Her feminist re-articulation of an earlier and perhaps more masculine work expands the question of our bodies’ strained relationship to the world to now encompass the gendered body and both the built and natural worlds. 

The 2010-2011 PLATFORM series is generously funded by James and Audrey Foster. Testing a World View (Again) is also supported by the Theodore and Jane Norman Fund for Faculty Research and Creative Projects.

Download the PLATFORM Brochure.

Tory Fair (b. 1968, Washington, DC) lives and works in Boston, MA. She received her BA from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and MFA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA. She is Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.


Educational Programming

All programs are free with Museum admission

PLATFORM Discussion Series

Tory Fair and Robb Moss

Saturday, August 6, 2 pm 

Join exhibiting artist Tory Fair as she engages in a discussion with documentary filmmaker Robb Moss, Rudolf Arnheim Lecturer on Filmmaking in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. The conversation will investigate how Fair’s Testing a World View (Again), and Moss’s documentary films, such as Secrecy and The Same River Twice, explore body and nature with their respective points of view, and their creative process in making these themes evident to the viewer.