Trenton Doyle Hancock resurrects his 1998 performance Off-Colored into a new context with the work Devotion. Hancock brings to life the mythical creature called the Mound as he sits atop a wooden structure, covered in a colorful, fur-striped sheet. He is fed huge bowls of Jell-O and, in between feedings, sings a spiritual hymn taught to him by his Grandmother as a child. The singing of this hymn not only references Hancock’s religious upbringing and the devotional services he attended every Sunday, but also reaffirms his connection to his relatives and loved ones who are no longer living. By bringing these hymns into the museum space, Hancock draws a connection between his religious past and his present relationship as an artist to the museum (or gallery). In so doing, he asks us all to consider what it means to be devoted to an idea or vision.
Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974) is known for his ever-evolving saga of the Vegans and the Mounds, half-animal, half-plant creatures, that live, love, dream, and die all in the narrative the artist creates in his work. His work not only investigates moral quandaries and Biblical themes, but also the formal qualities that are inherent to a given medium.