In this exhibition, Gregor Turk explores issues related to mapping, cultural signage, and marking place. The appeal of mapping is not the actual geographic information, but what that information tells us about ourselves as individuals and as a culture. He focuses on the fundamental qualities of mapping—the mysteriousness, inherent biases, cultural authoritativeness, and ability to simultaneously represent and distort reality.
Turk’s formal training is in ceramics and it remains a primary sculptural medium of choice. For the past decade, however, he has utilized repurposed rubber—specifically bicycle innertubes—as a medium. These contrasting materials serve to reinforce different but related concepts: earth, place, and permanence (clay) versus transit, in-betweenness, and mobility (rubber). These two media feature prominently in Globalrama: ceramic tablets depicting specific geographic choke points around the world (think straits and peninsulas) and rubber-bound containers of common household products transported far from their origin, some perhaps by ship through these very same choke points.
Known for his public art installations, ceramic sculpture, photography, and mixed-media constructions, Turk often incorporates mapping imagery and cultural markings into his artwork. His response to his surroundings, whether in his hometown of Atlanta or while traveling, serves as a major impetus for much of what he creates. He has permanent public art installations in the International Concourse at the Atlanta Airport (Gates E 33–36) and in the Jacksonville Airport.
His work is included in the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, High Museum of Art, MOCA–GA (Museum of Contemporary Art – Georgia), and numerous other public and private collections. Turk has previously exhibited at the AMA for the Artists in Georgia exhibition in 1990 and the Georgia/Alabama Biennial in 2001. He received his B.A. from Rhodes College and his M.F.A. from Boston University. Between earning degrees, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. His studio is located in Blandtown in Atlanta, Ga.