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Professor plays with time in first international solo exhibition

June 15, 2018

KOKOMO, Ind. — An Indiana University Kokomo faculty member challenges viewers’ sense of beauty and artificiality in his debut international solo exhibition.

Erik Deerly's exhibit

Dysmorphia, a 10-panel, 16-foot installation, is currently featured in the CICA Museum in Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, through Sunday, June 17.

“I just consider it a tremendous honor,” said Deerly, noting he’s exhibited work internationally before, but as part of a group of artists.

“A solo exhibition is extremely important in a career,” he said. “In a solo exhibition, the assumption is the museum has chosen you because they feel your work is important enough to show a larger body of it at one time. It brings my work and everything I do to a larger stage.”

He created Dysmorphia specifically for this exhibition, inspired by the location and the specific space within the museum. While it’s two dimensional, with height and depth, it also includes the fourth dimension — time.

“Time is one of the things I work with the most,” Deerly said. “I work with it in video, I work with it in audio. In this case, I work with it in a two-dimensional realm. When viewers see it, they’re seeing it as if I’ve taken time and tilted it on its side.”

To experience the narrative, he said, viewers would need to take all the vertical images and stretch them horizontally around the room.

“I don’t want it to be a literal experience, I wanted it to be engaging,” he said. “I wanted it to be fun. To me, it’s not necessary that the viewer understand where I’m coming from. I want them to enter this as a viewer and have fun with it.”

The resulting work measures approximately 16 feet across, taking up the entire wall on which it is displayed.

“When I was given the entire room, I thought I was going to have multiple pieces in addition to this,” Deerly said. “I realized that in this case, the piece itself is so consuming, anything more would be too much.”

He plans to exhibit Dysmorphia in Kokomo at some point, potentially in the faculty art show that opens in August in the IU Kokomo Art Gallery on campus. It could also be included in a spring 2019 exhibition of works he creates during his sabbatical, during the fall 2018 semester.

Deerly joined the IU Kokomo faculty in 2011. His range of work includes sound, installation, video, instruction-based art, photo, and Net.art. He’s exhibited in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.

He earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb; and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia College, Chicago. He lives in Kokomo.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 06/19/2018