Cured / Russ Orlando




auto parts, salt, chain, meat hooks, metal, porcelain, slip, canvas, string, wire, school bell, pot, plexiglass

Russ Orlando’s installation, Cured, explores the notion of healing a city, preserving what has defined it, slowing down time, making things last. The curing process itself is gradual and requires patience. “I’m not trying to give the answer. I’m just posing the question: can it be cured?” Yet the same element that sustains also readily destroys.

The work started as an idea three years ago. Orlando saw a photo essay in Time magazine featuring the Detroit salt mines.The mines were expansive and intriguing, and the image of the pristine, quiet place under Detroit stuck with him. Orlando did not have a trajectory for these thoughts, but the idea didn’t wane. “I take information that I don’t know what I’m going to do with yet, and if it bothers me and stays around, then I’ll work with it.”

When the residency with the Mattress Factory came about, Pittsburgh’s steel industry and Detroit’s automotive story formed a natural symbiotic link, one feeding the other. But in researching the two cities, Orlando found they also shared a connection below ground: the two are soldered together by salt deposits that lay underneath both cities, remains of a retreating sea.
About the Artist
Born in Detroit, Russ Orlando earned his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been exhibited across the country, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Northern Clay Center and MOCAD (The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit). Orlando comes from a ceramics background, a medium that forced him to slow down and take his time. The progression led him to sculpture, and then to installation. Though the installations can stand on their own, Orlando incorporates a performance element into his work. By adding himself into what he calls his “performstallations”, he can directly engage and experience the viewer’s reaction.
September 12, 2013 – June 29, 2014
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