Photo courtesy of: Andrew Musil“Aluminum Goods Mfg. Co.,” carbon print on aluminum, 2018, by Andrew Musil.
The Ohio University School of Art + Design presents an exhibition of new work by M.F.A. candidate Andrew Musil on view March 20–March 24 in Ohio University’s Art Gallery on the fifth floor in Seigfred Hall. The public opening reception for “Pots” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, with refreshments provided.
This exhibition features historic photographic prints, carbon prints on aluminum plates and aluminum cookware. The work is meant to reflect, as symbols, on the economic transitioning of a Rust Belt town.
The Mirro Aluminum Company was at one time the world’s largest producer of aluminum bake ware. Their largest factory complex, Plant 2, was located in the heart of downtown Manitowoc, Wisc. In 2003, the building was closed when the company’s operations relocated outside of Manitowoc. The building sat vacant, attracted vandalism and was labeled as an eyesore by the local newspaper. The city began demolishing the factory in late 2017.
The photographs in Pots are appropriated from community members’ public photographs of Mirro’s flagship factory complex, as well as advertisements from the company’s heyday that celebrate its employees and their labor. Also shown are photographs of the site, captured after the demolition.
Musil said he thinks about an applicable statement found in the 2008 PBS documentary “Objects and Memory:” “Without the objects, the stories would lack vibrancy; without the stories, the objects would lack significance.”