Ruthann Godollei: The Wish Machine

MCBA Outlook Gallery
September 11–November 15, 2020

viewable from the street.
(open book is currently closed to the public.)

“The Wish Machine is a display of collective desires—what needs to change, our hopes and dreams and what, if we put our minds and hands to it, we might achieve.

Sometimes naming what we want is the first step to making it happen. Saying it out loud, putting it in writing, and telling others inscribes our desire for change. Our aspirations—political, social, spiritual, personal, physical—take form as we share them and get to work, despite earthly impediments.

I cannot grant wishes, but I asked diverse members of the public (librarians, bus drivers, cashiers, bank tellers, teachers, artists, custodians, children) to share some with me. I printed one for them to keep and one to share with the public in The Wish Machine. It will be on display in the MCBA Outlook Gallery in Minneapolis from September 11–November 15, 2020.

The Wish Machine is composed of an altered wringer washing device and letterpress printed rice paper scrolls, and is populated by community wishes contrasted with some earthly impediments printed on paper, wood, fabric and plastic.” — Ruthann Godollei


Ruthann Godollei is the Wallace Professor of Art, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota. Her internationally exhibited prints incorporate pointed social commentary. Found objects altered with text, along with other text based works, comment on inequities, power, and pressing events. Exhibits include Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, 2020; North American Screenprint Biennial, 2020; Shifting Baselines, Form + Content Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, 2019; Pacific States Printmaking Biennial, University of Hawai’i, 2018; The Big Crash, IMPACT, Biblioteca Central de Cantabria, Santander, Spain, 2018; Nasty Women, Knockdown Center, NYC, 2017; the 9th Biennale Internationale d’Estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada; etc. Her work is in many international collections, including KUMU Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; the Centre For Fine Print Research, Bristol, UK; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the MMAA in St. Paul, MN, and the Polish National Museum of Art, Poznañ. Author of a DIY printmaking book, “How to Create Your Own …” (Voyageur Press), she received a 2019 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Printmaking at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.