GRAEM WHYTE: RESYSTEMIZE
March 15 - April 19, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, March 15, 5-7pm
Gallery tour & artist talk: Saturday, April 19, 3-5pm
Popps Packing is our home, studios, gallery and residency program. In 2011 we added two adjunct houses across the street (including Poppa Joe’s Guest House and Popps Emporium), and in the last few years several friends have purchased homes within close proximity. Popps and these other properties are located in the northwest corner of Hamtramck and expand northwest into Detroit, and so we refer to these collective spaces as The Northwest Territories
Resystemize presents experiments based on the reimagining of infrastructural, recreational, instrumental, and mythological systems of the Northwest Territories. Through the improvement and embellishment of these spaces, loci for social interaction and engagement are created. These works and spaces are increasingly collaborative, and aim to convey notions of sustainability from both a material and social viewpoint. They will often have a master plan from the onset, but are left open-ended to allow for flexibility and improvisation based on mood or material availability.
These spaces are augmented with sculptural components that reconfigure found objects or fuse fragmentary elements from disparate sources into cohesive wholes. These investigations of personal memory and public history are simultaneously astral and deeply grounded, inviting the viewer to wonder and dream while opening a dialogue about how we relate to a demystified world. Hopefully, they serve as examples of how we can rebuild our personal and communal environments into something greater than the sum of their parts, using what we already have available.
Graem Whyte is a sculptor born and raised in metro Detroit, currently based in Hamtramck, MI. His career started in the field of architecture, later shifted to fine art, and now hybridizes both disciplines. In 2004, Whyte created the one night only weekly art showcase This Week In Art at Motor City Brewing Works, which continues to the present. In 2007 Whyte and his wife, Faina Lerman, founded the experimental art venue Popps Packing in Hamtramck. Currently, Whyte is working on Squash House, the conversion of an abandoned house in Detroit into a squash court and community squash garden, and is in the development stages of Popps Emporium, an experimental storefront, community gallery, and social club utilizing barter and time-based exchange. His work utilizes a wide array of materials and often fuses architecture, mythology, and patterns of mathematics and nature with a wry sense of humor. For more information, visit poppspacking.org.
Catalogue essay: Graem Whyte's Carnal Optimism by John Corso