The Tables Turned is a project by artists Erin Charpentier, Travis Neel, and Samuel Wildman. As serial collaborators, they work in many configurations of artists and organizations in Seattle and Portland.
The Tables Turned is a research monument that recovers the not-too-visible legacy of American Communitarian spatial design.
From the 18th-20th century, a number of dissident idealists experimented at the intersection of lifestyle and life space; testing the balance between authority and participation, community and privacy, and discipline and release. Their architecture and industrial design challenged dominant social structures in attempts to embody new values and institutions, such as equity and celibacy in the Shaker villages or perfectionism and complex marriage in the Oneida community. However flawed and problematic, these experiments offer insight into a collective imaginary and design process and provide evidence of an unlikely narrative in american history.
The Tables Turned recreates physical objects from these experiments as a starting point from which to consider how ideology manifests in the built environment and how the built environment is a site to challenge dominant paradigms.
Among other works, the exhibition will feature a recreation of the lazy susan table, adopted and patented by the Oneida Community in the 19th century. The table will feature programming developed by artists Arianna Jacob and the collaborative Anna Gray + Ryan Wilson Paulsen. Further announcements will be made in the upcoming weeks.