Whose Culture? Which Place?

  • Chad Erpelding (USA)
    multimedia installation

    Modern Art Museum, Yerevan
    July 20-30, 2012

Chad Erpelding’s work investigates the physical and mental spread of culture on a global scale. He is interested in the movement of people, business, and organizations, and how these affect contemporary perceptions of place.  Through extensive research of corporations, political institutions, governmental organizations, etc., he looks to discover the vastness of the connections created through globalization. He systematically transforms this information into the language of abstract painting to visualize the complex network. He hopes that his work challenges viewers to consider the relationships among various regions while reevaluating their understanding of place. The project ‘Whose Culture? Which Place?’ consists of a series of conjoined works presented below.

Taste Test Challenge: Coke: Yerevan
Taste Test Challenge: Pepsi: Yerevan
These pieces map the locations of the tents and awnings promoting the respective American soft drinks in Yerevan’s city center.  This project was done in collaboration with students of the Department of Fine Arts at the Armenian Open University.

Embassies: Yerevan
This piece investigates the locations of the foreign embassies within Yerevan, mapping the places within the city that are understood to physically be another country.

HSBC: Yerevan
This piece investigates the locations of HSBC branches and ATMs, looking at the proliferation and presence of the British corporation.

American Corners: Armenia
This piece investigates the network of American Corners within Armenia.  An outreach program of the US Embassy, American Corners are American-style libraries that are intended to be a resource for Armenians interested in learning more about the US.

Chad Erpelding received his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, in Carbondale, Illinois, USA in 2006. His work explores globalization and understanding of place through the use of maps and information visualization. Recent exhibitions include ‘You Are Where’ solo show at Darke Gallery, Houston, Texas; ‘Forest for the Trees’ two person shows at 1708 Gallery, Richmond, Virginia; and “Nothing to Declare” group show at Blanc Compound, Manila, Philippines. He has been included in shows in France, Russia, Bulgaria, Philippines, Mexico, Hungary, South Korea, Italy, and throughout the US. He is currently an Assistant Professor of painting and drawing at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, US, where he lives with his wife, dog, cat and their three horses.

The exhibition was part of Chad Erpelding’s three-month residency program at the ‘Art Commune’ International AIR Program (ACSL). The entire project was funded by Boise State University (Idaho, USA) and Idaho Commission on the Arts.