The art of subliminal messaging in corporate America

Subliminal Messaging in Corporate Offices

Any digital marketer or PR firm which understands the ways in which subliminal messaging is used in advertisements. But what about subliminal messaging in the actual buildings where thought leaders meet in their corporate offices on Madison Avenue, Wall Street, or anywhere else in America?

This is a topic of interest to multi-media artist Geof Oppenheimer, Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, who visually explores the invisible capitalistic messaging of today in his first solo exhibition “Big Boss and the Ecstasy of Pressures” at Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in Evanston.

Curated by the Block’s Ellen Philips Katz Director Lisa Corrin, the show examines the subliminal political and social levels encoded within today’s civic structures via Oppenheimer’s newly-commissioned pieces: a massive sculpture Civil/Eviland the non-narrative video DRAMA.

“Geof Oppenheimer is an extraordinary talent,” says Corrin. “He is a very precise and concise thinker who works extremely deliberately, paring down every decision to its essentials. Working with the formal language of sculpture—material, shape, mass, and space—in his work, each element carries great weight and potential meaning.”

Many of the exhibition’s themes—including the 21st century’s devaluing of human labor—will be addressed throughout the fall, starting with a discussion with the artist at 2 p.m. on September 26at the McCormick Auditorium at Norris University Center on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus; and concluding with an interactive event, A Poem is a Sculpture, open to the public at 5 p.m. on November 18.

In conjunction with his exhibition, Oppenheimer has selected mainstream movies which will be screened at the museum’s Block Cinema. Guest Film Curator Will Schmenner will be on hand when he and the artist will discuss how 2008’s The Dark Knight relates to the “Big Boss and the Ecstasy of Pressures”.

“Big Boss and the Ecstasy of Pressures” runs from September 12 through November 30, 2015. For more information on the exhibition, visit To learn more about the artist, visit

Support for “Big Boss and the Ecstasy of Pressures” is generously provided by the Diane and Craig Solomon Contemporary Art Fund, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and Lynn Hauser and Neil Ross.