Industry of the Ordinary

(Mathew Wilson: American, b. 1967, Adam Brooks: American, b. 1959; both reside in Chicago, IL)

Through sculpture, text, photography, video, sound and performance Industry of the Ordinary are dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the customary, the everyday, and the usual. Their emphasis is on challenging pejorative notions of the ordinary and, in doing so, moving beyond the quotidian.  - Industry of the Ordinary manifesto

Since 2003, Industry of the Ordinary collaborators Mathew Wilson and Adam Brooks have been orchestrating performance works that allow their audience access to the creative process as it unfolds. However, the ideas and intentions behind a performance do not end when it does, and the photographs that document these acts give the viewer additional opportunity to respond to and interpret the work. Typical of Industry of the Ordinary’s documentation, each piece in this portfolio consists of an image captioned by a single line of descriptive text, providing context or counterpoint while leaving room for reaction and speculation.

Adam Brooks was born in New York, and received a BA from Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts (1982) and an MFAfrom The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1988). Mathew Wilson was born in Reading, England, and has lived and worked in Chicago since 1991. He holds a BA from Humberside University, Hull, England (1990) and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1993). His performance piece Surrender was included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s 2004 exhibition Camera/Action. Additional Industry of the Ordinary performances and exhibitions have been held at Chicago’s Daley Plaza, the PAC /edge Performance Festival in Chicago, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago and in public spaces in England and Croatia. They have received an Illinois Humanities Council grant.