The Clamor of Ordinary Things

A group exhibition of contemporary photography, video, and animation curated by Carolyn Lambert, UTC Lecturer in Photography and Media Arts. The works in this exhibition critically reflect on identity through a relation between objects, clothing, and everyday life. Danielle Dean animates Nike’s sneaker, "True Red", into various forms – a bat, a castle, a red substance, a woman. The “swoosh” also appears in Jared Thorne’s "Black Palimpsest", which explores the exchange of signifiers of authenticity and belonging, power and wealth, between Black American and Black African social worlds. In Zhiyuan Yang’s series, "Family of Three", the discomfort of gender roles and heteronormative family life are played out in dramatic and humorous role-swapping tableaus. Pat Miller Gamble’s work shares this sense of performativity—"Raytheon 2016 Q2 Earnings Conference Call: A Reenactment" connects the ahistorical indulgence of medieval cosplay with contemporary arms speculation.

October 30, 2018 - December 12, 2018 The Cress Gallery gratefully acknowledges Office Coordinators, Inc., Chattanooga, TN, for their loan of office furniture as part of this exhibition. (

(homepage exhibition image: Pat Miller Gamble "Raytheon 2016 Q2 Earnings Conference Call: A Reenactment" 2016, still from performative video)

Jared Thorne
holds a B.A. in English Literature from Dartmouth College and Master in Fine Arts from Columbia University. His work speaks to issues of identity and subjectivity as it relates to class in and race in America and abroad. Thorne is an Assistant Professor in the Art Department at The Ohio State University and is the Head of the Photography Area. Before joining O.S.U. Jared taught at the collegiate level in South Africa from 2010 – 2015. He has had solo shows both domestically and internationally. Thorne's next solo show will be in January 2019 at Art Matters Gallery in Columbus, OH. As a Black artist investigating the culture of his own people, Thorne seeks to challenge hegemonic as well as self-imposed constructs of Black identity in America and beyond. Thorne’s broad-ranging recent projects address class, race, and access to health care in the mid-United States; the diasporic relationship between Black Americans and Africa; and Black Identity in Capetown. The common thread throughout is Thorne’s sensitive and critical attention to place, position and perspective.

Danielle Dean is an interdisciplinary artist whose works use fiction and the aesthetics of advertisement to engage and historicize the media and cultural processes that colonize the mind and body. Drawing on her multinational background—born to a Nigerian father and an English mother in Alabama, and brought up in a suburb of London—her work explores the ideological function of technology, architecture, marketing techniques, and the media as tools of subjection and oppression. Danielle Dean was appointed Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Photography Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield, Michigan, in August of 2017. She has taught at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and Rice University in Houston. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and her BFA from Central Saint Martins in London. Dean is an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Zhiyuan Yang is an interdisciplinary artist from Beijing, China, who makes work exploring the ambivalent relationship between alienation and belonging. Through questioning the social evaluation of failure, Yang challenges and constructs alternatives to normative definitions of gender, ethnicity, and social character through fiction, performance, and intimate conversation, using strategies that encompass masquerade, interview, and humor. The locations Yang works include the studio, art gallery, the domestic and the public sphere. These locations are frequently transformed to reflect shifts and changes that subjects at the center of my investigation undergo.

Pat Miller Gamble is an artist employing media/fake news, historical reenactment, performance, and video to intervene in the fictions employed to narrativize and uphold the institutionalized entitlement of wealth and power. Pat grew up in Boston and is currently studying visual art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA., where they steadily build their career and resume. (homepage exhibition image: Pat Miller Gamble "Raytheon 2016 Q2 Earnings Conference Call: A Reenactment" 2016, still from performative video)

About the Curator: Carolyn Lambert’s videos, objects, and installations have been exhibited and produced throughout the U.S. and Canada at venues such as the SculptureCenter, Exit Art, Proteus Gowanus, Flux Factory, Spring Break Art Fair and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Michigan. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon, where she was subsequently a Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Lambert has received funding and support from the Steinbrenner Institute, The Sprout Fund, The National Wildlife Federation and NYFA, and has been awarded residencies at the Banff Centre, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Open Sessions program at the Drawing Center. Lambert currently serves as Lecturer In Photography and Media Art in the Department of Art, University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

Zhiyuan Yang "Family of Three" 2016, one of a series of color photographs