Combining wood’s visual warmth and frankness with a startling sense of isolation, Bob Trotman conveys a variety of narratives not only about the masks and personas that are taken on when working within a competitive organization, but also offers a meditation on questions at the core of our humanity.
Conceived as an installation with an affinity to Greek tragedy, Trotman’s sculptures of men and women in corporate attire are divided into three subsections: Committee, Cover Up and Chorus. In each of these sections the figures are presented in disconcerting postures – some melting into the floor, others mysteriously covered by a shroud, while those in positions of power reside on pedestals.
Business As Usual was created over a period of five years and Trotman has acknowledged that it is a dark vision not necessarily tied to recent cultural and economic events, but that certainly one can project those themes onto this evocative installation. Its meaning is to remain dynamic and open-ended. Trotman offers, not a history lesson, but a poetic entryway to an ongoing saga—a familiar one, unfortunately, of pride, power, shame and submission.
Debuting in spring 2008 at Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery, Bob Trotman: Business as Usual was curated by Dinah Ryan. It has been reconfigured for its presentation within The Mint Museum’s VantagePoint contemporary art series.