Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan
Born 1980 in Wadena, MN
Lives and Works in New York, NY
Born 1968 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives and Works in Chicago, IL
In their work for the 2014 Biennial, Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan began with an archive of airline menus donated to the Northwestern University Transportation Library by anthropologist George M. Foster, who collected them during his domestic and international travels from the 1950's through the 1980's. The artists are preoccupied with the imagery and food in relation to Foster's controversial essay Peasant Society and the Image of Limited Good, (1965) which speculated that "peasant" societies view good fortune (health, wealth, status) as finite. One individual's acquisition and advancement comes at the expense of another's, and by extension poverty is a matter of point of view rather than structural or institutional factors.
In the Biennial, materials related to hectography, a low-tech printing process where images are duplicated using pans of gelatin, are arranged on tables that reference furniture used in military and colonial campaigns. Hectography was historically useful in circumstances that required clandestine distribution of information where all traces of the printing process could be discarded. Snobeck and Sullivan's Biennial installation also includes prints that were made using this process.
Work by Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan is on view in the Museum’s second floor galleries.