Route 66 remains a touchstone in pop culture because it simultaneously represents freedom and nostalgia, and because in this post-post modern era, we recognize that both of those sensations were based more on a myth of America than on any truth. So why not let a fiction experience the myth? Jeffrey Sass has long photographed and painted scenes of Americana with a blocky, 1950s-style toy robot inserted in the shot as the ultimate tourist. For Past/Passed: New Work by Robot Sass and fellow artist Keith A. Buchholz sent the robot back down the Mother Road to experience the jejune pleasures of the American road trip. The robot's travelogue is told through paintings, collage, sculpture and book arts, refracting through its plastic photoreceptors the artificiality of the journey through the fictional past. Past/Passed opens with a free public reception at 7 p.m. Friday, August 5, at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; www.madart.com), with a cash bar and music by DJ Rob Levy. The show remains on display by appointment through Saturday, August 27.
Aug. 5-27, 2011