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April 28th, 2022

Presented by Artspace

Kelly O’Neill, Leslie Menagh 

Factory schooling, a public education model developed in the 18th/early 19th centuries, is an approach to education emphasizing impersonal, standardized teachings to produce a literate, compliant workforce. The neat rows of desks in today’s classrooms echo these origins. Youthful, but deflated stick-figure forms present themselves in fleshy, ordered formation while a wall-to-wall curve-stitching looms overhead. Weaving together symbols of formative school experience, these familiar and uncanny additions to the classroom prompt reflections on one’s experiences within the factory school system. Education comes with a rulebook. Emerging out of rich discussions about their own experiences, Kelly and Leslie’s material interventions explore the exacting conditions informing moral, social, and cultural imperatives entangled within curriculum. In their installation, in·form Leslie Menagh and Kelly O’Neill liken the classroom to a loom – one that threads us into the fabric of society and ties learning to production.

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