Type A
Barrier and Trigger

June 26 to December 31, 2011

Over the course of the past decade, the work of Type A (Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin) has frequently touched on the perception of danger and the presupposition of risk felt by both individuals and groups in American society.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present Type A: Barrier and Trigger from June 26 to December 31, 2011. The exhibition brings together two radically different, but related, projects by the artists that approach this subject manner from separate directions. Barrier is a large-scale modular sculpture whose primary subject is the fear of terrorist threat felt by both government and corporate entities and Trigger deals in a dizzyingly complex way with the reasons Americans feel the need to arm themselves.

Type A’s work has consistently explored the ways that men challenge and compete with one another, and with Barrier they have expanded their practice into the broader arena of politics. Barrier (2009), takes the form of twenty-one identical concrete sculptures based on the Jersey barrier, objects originally designed to divide highway lanes during construction. After 9/11 they were repurposed for use as security devices, and thus transformed into both actual and symbolic boundaries of governmental and corporate authority. Type A has taken these roles and tweaked them, turning the barriers into objects that can still function in their original roles, but with the added weight of art history and social and political awareness.

Where Barrier references the control of public space, Trigger (2011) sees Type A take up the issue of firearms in America. Trigger is a series of photographic images produced by the artists and actually printed and sold as commercial gun targets by Law Enforcement Targets, Inc., a Minnesota-based company. Besides Type A themselves, the individuals portrayed on the targets are a selection of the artists’ friends and colleagues, as well as volunteers from the Museum’s community (including staff and Trustees). Generally, an artist will work with a curator to decide which of their works will be included in a Museum exhibition, but in this case the final curatorial decisions were made by the company on the basis of their commercial need. 

Aldrich exhibitions director Richard Klein explains, “Type A’s work has increasingly engaged with the act of interjecting themselves and actively participating in cultures outside the art world. This idea was central to the meaning and the working process of their most recent project, Trigger. Where Barrier references the control of public space, Trigger takes us deep into society’s collective unconscious, provocatively exploring the two contrasting sides of America’s love affair with guns: fear and recreation.”

Type A will discuss their work with Richard Klein at Behind the Scenes, a private preview for Aldrich members on Friday, June 24, 2011, from 6:30 to 8 pm. Memberships will be available at the door. Type A, a publication which includes an essay by Aldrich exhibitions director Richard Klein, is available in the Museum Store.

Type A, a publication which includes an essay by Aldrich exhibitions director Richard Klein, is available in the Museum Store.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will celebrate the opening of Type A: Barrier and Trigger along with five other Collaborations exhibitions at a reception where guests are invited to meet the artists, on Sunday, June 26, 2011, from 3 to 5 pm ($7 adults; $4 seniors; FREE for members, pre-K-12 teachers, and children 18 and under). FREE onsite parking is available, as is round-trip transportation from the Metro North Katonah Train Station to the Museum for the June 26 afternoon reception only. Also on view: Chelpa Ferro: Visual Sound; Kate Eric: One Plus One Minus One; MTAA: All the Holidays All at Once; Jessica Stockholder: Hollow Places Court in Ash-Tree Wood; and Judi Werthein: Do You Have Time?

The Aldrich is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. The official media sponsors of exhibition openings are Ridgefield Magazine and WSHU Public Radio. Barrier is an institutional collaboration among The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA, and The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. Special thanks to Law Enforcement Targets, Inc., Minneapolis, MN for their support of Trigger and Stone Soup Concrete, Easthampton, MA for their support of Barrier.

Open publication

The Artists: Type A comprises Adam Ames, born in 1969 in New York City, and Andrew Bordwin, born in 1964 in Framingham, MA. Type A is based in New York City.

Top of page: Type A, Trigger (partial installation view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield), 2011
Courtesy of the artists and Law Enforcement Targets, Inc.
Photo: Chad Kleitsch