The World Is Everything That It Isn't

  • Location:
    semantics gallery, 1107 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45214, US

The World Is Everything That It Isn’t
Recent Works by Steve Kemple
Exhibition Dates: May 7-28, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 7th, 7-10 pm
Regular gallery hours: 12-4, Saturdays

Cincinnati, OH—semantics is pleased to present The World Is Everything That It Isn’t, a solo exhibition of recent works by Steve Kemple. The artist’s conceptual practice makes use of everyday objects, ritualized activities and an increasing number of internet-based applications and programs to generate projects that reflect upon existential conundrums. While the resulting artworks are visually stark and striking, they ultimately comprise a cerebral landscape in which contradictions seem to mystically dissipate as emphasis is placed on shared experience and knowledge. This exhibition grafts together personal family stories with community-based activities and explorations into how the ordering of information can alter, invert or multiply its meanings. To learn more about Steve Kemple’s work, and to participate in his upcoming project “Dial the Ocean,” visit his website: 

Works in the exhibition include:

"World View"
A telescope pointed at a map of the world.

"Ghost Drawings"
Barely visible drawings on the floor made with the residue of chemically treated rock salt dissolved in water.

"A Houseplant That Has Achieved Self-Awareness"
An ordinary houseplant to which the artist has read aloud numerous philosophical works and subsequently imparted self-awareness.

A fake seashell containing a speaker quietly playing vocal approximations of ocean noises recorded as cell phone messages for
“Dial the Ocean” (included in Land Before Skype at CS13).

"Eight Through Zero"
Numbers zero through ten listed alphabetically in vinyl text on the wall.

"I Am In This Happy World"
720 permutations of the phrase “I am in this happy world” printed in five columns on a legal document.

"The World's Second Most Inconceivable Object" 
Ƨ Ʀ 22 Ȉ Ϡ҈҉ ↔ ℗∑ ⁞???!?!?!!

About World View the artist writes: 

When my grandfather returned from World War II with a bullet in his palm, a collapsed lung, and tuberculosis, he was told he would only live for a short time. As the story goes, my grandmother did not like this prognosis, and she resolved to nurse him back to health. So much as one cough, the doctors told her, his remaining lung would give out and he would die; he would have to remain virtually motionless if he wanted any hope of recovery. She brought him home to their two story farmhouse outside of Arlington, Indiana and helped him into bed, where he remained, virtually motionless, for nearly ten years.
To keep his mind occupied, she read to him: the Bible as well as works of theology, philosophy, science, and history. She covered the bedroom walls with pages, photographs, and maps (of the world and of biblical locations), then she rigged a telescope he could move by turning his head. So he spent his time studying maps in minutia through a telescope, growing intimately familiar with far off terrains. When he emerged from his bedroom nearly ten years later, he did so a world traveler.
Rather than describe, much less understand, the many levels at which this is interesting, I have endeavored to recreate a version using a world map and telescope. For me, this is the central work of The World Is Everything That It Isn't, which is as much about making sense of this bit of family history as it is about making sense of what it means to make sense of something or to accept what is beyond my comprehension without appealing to resolve the unresolvable.
Artist Bio
A resident of Cincinnati since 2003, Steve Kemple is an artist, musician, and pseudo-librarian. His work has been shown in Cincinnati and New York. He graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2007 with a BFA in Painting and briefly studied philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. He is currently finishing his Masters of Library & Information Science at Kent State University (for which he received a full scholarship) with emphases in Youth Services and Museum Studies. He has been a member of the gallery/collective CS13 since 2009. He has independently released several CD-R's under the moniker Δ and performs with the ensemble Discerning Crane.

This is the first solo exhibition of his work.