A new Geoff McFetridge exhibition feels like a look into the current American psyche. It’s both emotional and anonymous, introspective and outward-looking. There are no faces but it could be anybody. One of the things I have loved about speaking to Geoff over the years is the careful consideration of ideas and the absolute abolishment of ideas all together. It makes the works universal. Geoff told me last year, “…there is an aspect of it that’s within any piece of work, that you can sort of embolden with sincerity or with something that goes beyond ideas.” Beyond ideas to make something feel very real and timeless. It’s not an effortless task, but Geoff can make it appear so.
In the works for Rust Drinkers, his newest show at Louis Buhl in Detroit, Geoff is indeed looking at the car as a vehicle but the car as an idea that can’t be comprehending and does not need a literal explanation. The car as opposite of an idea of the car, so to speak. The workers are there, the car is romantic, nostalgic, labor, a meeting place, an escape. And at the heart, there are people, not identified as anyone but a memory or just a figure to occupy an idea. Or in some cases, as Geoff loves to say, beyond an idea. —Evan Pricco