Saint Michael’s Art Professor Brian Collier mounts extraordinary participatory exhibition: “The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects”
Artist/assistant professor, Brian Collier, who has created art installations at venues in museums, libraries and big box stores around the world, is installing his participatory exhibition, “The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects,” subtitled, A New Taxonomy and Catalogued Collection, in the SMC Durick Library, April 27 to October 15.
Professor Collier will give an artist’s talk about the exhibit, titled, “Locating, Naming and Displaying Very Small Objects,” on Friday, April 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Durick Library, Room 115. An opening reception for the show will be held on April 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Durick Library Room 115.
The Collier Classification System, invented by Brian Collier, provides tools “to intimately explore and apply order to the micro-detritus of an intimate landscape.” The artist has provided a fascinating array of objects and explanations of how to participate in the collection process at his remarkable website: http://verysmallobjects.com/
Public invited to explore "the very small"
“Our intimate daily landscape is filled with a vast universe of disorganized, unnamed and often overlooked very small objects,” Professor Collier wrote. “Hidden within this chaotic muddle are objects of wonder and beauty that, when noticed, can deepen our experience of the spaces we inhabit.” The professor was thus inspired in 2004 to invent The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects.
Definition of “the very small”
Professor Collier has used his system to create a Master Collection which has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He invites the public to enter the exploration for understanding “the world of the very small” by visiting the exhibit and by using the Collier System to collect and name Very Small Objects. Professor Collier defines a very small object as “any once living or never living thing big enough to be seen by the naked eye but no loarger than 8mm x 8mm x 20mm. No living thing may ever be collected or named using this classification system except when the specimen is a small part or fragment that may be collected using a method that causes no significant harm to the larger organism.”
Brian Collier works in various media—sculpture, photography, websites, video, drawing, artists’ books, installation and performance. He has exhibited the ever-expanding Master Collection of Very Small Objects
at the Neues Museum Weserberg Bremn, Germany; Washington University Medical Library, St. Louis, MO.; Herndon Gallery, Antioch College, OH; The Green Lantern Gallery, Chicago, IL; CSPS Gallery, Cedar Rapids, IA; and Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Topeka, KS. He has had a number of solo exhibits of his work and has been included in numerous group shows round the U.S.
Collier’s work has been written about in numerous publications, including Art in America, The New York Times, Afterimage, Art Papers Magazine, and the book, Say it isn’t so: Art Trains It’s Sights on the Natural Sciences. He earned his MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and joined the faculty of Saint Michael's College in 2011.
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