February 16 – March 11

Fantasy / Reality / Decay

Curated by Sophie Buchmueller

Contributing artists: Eric Capper, Sarah Brophy, Sydney Gush, and Morgan Eldridge

280 Gallery Open Hours

Monday – Friday: 11am – 6pm
Saturday: 11am – 3pm
Sundays: Closed
Holidays: Closed

Featured Work

Out To Lunch

Sarah Brophy

Digital animation

4 minutes


The Kiss in 1965

Sydney Gush

Reproduction print of hand-cut collage, vintage National Geographic and Playboy Magazines

21″ x 21″


Out To Lunch

Sarah Brophy

Digital animation

4 minutes


Exhibition Narrative

Seemingly at the drop of a hat, the corporate office became largely obsolete. With the onset of the pandemic, workers emptied out of downtown business districts and suburban office parks, retreating to work from their kitchen tables or spare bedrooms. Nearly two years later, the office real estate market remains in crisis; as remote work becomes a long term feature of American white collar society, office buildings continue to sit unused. “When faced with a totally new situation,” media theorist Marshall McLuhan writes, “we tend to always attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.” Positioning ourselves at an inflection point, Fantasy / Reality / Decay explores the corporate office as an impossible space—a setting historically imbued with manifold associations, promises, desires, and frustrations, yet also one whose future no longer holds. How can we, in looking back at the American office, devise alternative ways to interact in this liminal environment?

Fantasy / Reality / Decay seeks to distort cultural associations of the office, especially the individualistic, capitalist aspirations of the space and the more mundane—even depressing—qualities of working life. The gallery installation does not accurately recreate a corporate office setting so much as construct immersive situations inspired by its quintessential features, in order to imagine speculative, dreamlike futures for objects left behind when employees evacuated, and propose new models for engaging with them and each other in these failed spaces. The objects assembled within the gallery draw out the dissociations created by such liminal spaces, considering how hopeful fantasies tie into functionality and how unrealized promises lead to decay.

The exhibition is a collective endeavor by Sydney Gush, Morgan Eldridge, Eric Capper, Sarah Brophy, and Sophie Buchmueller. Born from an intentionally collaborative process, Fantasy / Reality / Decay seeks to transform the gallery into a communal and relational environment in which objects, made both by specific artists and collectively, communicate with each other. Not only does this integrated mode of display reflect the show’s curatorial process, but it also conceptually underscores a rejection of the hierarchical, individualistic, alienated nature of capitalist work culture.

A site-responsive performance with Keny De La Peña

Programming Event

To whom it may concern:
Thursday, February 24th
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

This event will be hosted in SITE’s 280 Gallery and Instagram Live

Join SITE’s Instagram here.

Join SITE galleries for an afternoon performance by Keny De La Peña in conjunction with the group exhibition Fantasy / Reality / Decay. The performance can be viewed by visiting the gallery in person, or by tuning into SITE’s Instagram Live.

Fantasy / Reality / Decay will be on view in the SITE 280 Gallery from February 16th until March 9th.

Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations should visit saic.edu/access


Photo Documentation


Video Documentation

By Beatrice Kilkelly-Schmidt


Email SITE Directors: sitegalleries@saic.edu




SITE Sharp Gallery
37 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60603

SITE 280 Gallery
280 S. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL, 60603



Gallery Hours (during exhibitions)
Monday – Friday 11am – 6pm

Saturday 11am – 3pm