Z file: Exhibition Proposals, Final Drafts, UMD MFA Colloquium, 2009

These are the final drafts Exhibition Proposals by students who participated in the University of Maryland MFA Colloquium, posted December, 2009.

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18 Responses to “Z file: Exhibition Proposals, Final Drafts, UMD MFA Colloquium, 2009”

  1. Jesse Says:

    Group Show Proposal: (Down With The Ship)
    This show is an attempt to regulate visual artwork through a fundamental disruption of the viewing process. This viewing process has been consistently compromised by its main resource, and that art economy is what this show will attempt to subvert.
    Great ships have always been the fundamental means of imperial transportation. The sea has provided the readymade highway, upon which international trading and colonization occurs and cultures have bred and reproduced. Ironically the sea remains one of the few vastly unclaimed properties of this planet, and has eluded territorial declaration for many reasons. International waters are defined as 200 nautical miles from the shore of any nation, the high seas are owned by no one. In this zone, the laws of their respective countries, and the code of the sea govern travelers. This legal system, “the code of the sea” is based on the economics of the environment, constant movement, internationally mixed ideologies, and the politics within each ship. A perfect regulator for artwork!
    In order to use the code of the sea as a model government for art, it must be tested. Naval history has provided constant tests to this code, most recently the dramatic escapades of pirates from Eastern Africa. As a vane of global environmental issues, political struggle and metaphorical wildness, authenticity and fiction of the sea, have created a charged space, both above and below the surface, which is difficult to inhabit. There is a historical tradition that tests the most basic form of habitation on the sea and that is the practice of scuttling, or intentionally sinking a ship. It has been used militarily to block access by the enemy in shallow waters or to prevent the enemy from seizing the ships supplies, weapons, and sailors. Although this sacrificial practice has military justification, it can be extended to the negligence of ignorant navigation, the various derangements which come from isolation and the desperation induced by a lack of resources. The story of a sinking ship is always exciting, and terrifying at the same time, drowning, stranded crews, cannibalism, and the buried treasure that is completely unreachable at the ocean floor. The ship becomes a time capsule, resting silently on the bottom. Technology has given access to wrecks for archeological and treasure hunting purposes, but the premise of a ship as a moving building, an extension of a nation, company or person, has created some very interesting debates about property. The value of goods, the history of goods, and the acquisition of goods, all part of a good artwork…

    The proposition is, purchase a seaworthy cargo ship such as this example from Kenya, having a large capacity single cargo hold. Paint the inside of the hold white, for fun, sail to the point in the ocean farthest from any land. This point is in the South Pacific Ocean at 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W, approximately 1670 miles from the nearest land, is called “Point Nemo”.

    The Ship
    Here is the ship (possibly). In the hold of this ship, an exhibition will be established of works by these artists, Nedko Solakov, Mark Dion, and Francis Alys. These guys are popular, and for good reasons, they have made a big variety of artworks which utilize a multifaceted set of practices and activities. The three work in a similar fashion , making extended projects , which are dependent on the combination of the actions to and upon exsisting things, places and ideas. All three of these works in a site-conditioned manner, which may come in handy for this show in particular, although copious planning will be expected. Here is the space…
    the space

    A brief explanation of the artist’s works and backgrounds:
    Francis Alys lives in Mexico City, and has made many artworks which involve a documentation of an action and the reprecussions of this activity. Alys’ most famous work ”When Faith Moves Mountains” 2002 is indicative of the broad scale with which the artist interacts. Participants are documented moving shovels full of sand from a dune peak, physically altering the geographical location of the hill in Peru. The coordinated efforts create a monumental action, with the most poetically efficient means. This is just the kind of thing we need for this show, it still makes sense in a thousand years!
    Mark Dion lives in Pennsylvania, a lot of his artwork involves the display of found objects as artifacts in an old fasioned, semi-scientific format. One of his most famous works is called “Neukom Vivarium” 2006 where the artist created a greenhouse type structure to support the life which grows from a fallen tree as it decomposes. The giant hemlock trunk is expected to rot over a long period of time generating an ecosystem from its decomposition. A lot of Dion’s work is archeological, and dependent on the place where he is working, what he can dicover and display from a certain area, I can imagine that exploring a sunken ship, before it is sunk, will be fairly exciting for him.
    Nedko Solakov lives in Bulgaria, and works without any specific continuity, but for the most part, amusement is involved. One of his best pieces involves the adaptation of flaws and incidental marks within a building to create elaborate but understated drawings. Another example is “Wallpaper” first exhibited in 1993, in which Solakov covered a space with floral wallpaper, and drew cartoon like pictures throughout the pattern. The humor and wit come in large part from translations both from liguistically and conceptually, the way he writes and draws has a forgein (to everyone but himself) clarity which often transforms serious issues. Text is often a large part of the works, and this could be a problem under the ocean for a number of centuries, but I am confident that he will provide a marvelous work.
    the hole
    The next step:
    The show can be set up in transit, and the ship will travel to pick up the works from any port in the world. Once we reach “Point Nemo” the ship will be scuttled, by means of a single strategically placed hole, which I will drill or cut. Estimations for the hole size range between 1 and 3 inches in diameter, so as to completely sink the vessel within one week. The artists will of course be informed of this plan, and will be expected to adjust accordingly. The show may not be seen or experienced by people other than the artists and installers, for several thousand years. This will be a determining factor in what these artists chose to make. There will be a buoy tethered to the ship with a very long length of stainless steel cable so that her location will not be lost.
    There will be no insurance covering either the ship or the exhibition contents; the owner of the ship once she has sunk will be whoever retrieves her from the sea floor. All volatile materials including excess fuel, chemicals, etc. will be removed from the ship prior to scuttling, to minimize environmental impact.
    Possible wreckage
    This image is from “Diving for Sunken Treasure” by Jacques Cousteau. We will of course have a steel ship so we have very different timelines, but adverse conditions should be expected.
    The nature of the precise works to be created for this show is top secret. If details were to be given prior to the launch of the exhibition, the fate of the project would be compromised. It is important that these artworks are as physically inaccessible as possible without being actually destroyed by the artists. Also of importance is that the content of the exhibition be either discovered and found or remain lost and unknown. The only way to see this exhibition will be to participate in hiding it, or to pull it from the cold depths.
    This show has two potential outcomes. The first is that the work will be rediscovered in the future as an amazing time capsule, bridging a period of history and exciting whoever exists at that time. The second and more likely option is that nothing happens, the scandal about squandered funds brings brief attention to the project, the ship sinks and is destroyed by time, and the idea is lost until someone else tries to do something similar. The project is essentially an exercise in monumental futility and no results can be expected, other than a good story.

    Budget:
    $500,000 per artist, for the purpose of acquisition, fabrication and preparation of their work or works for this show.
    $500,000 for the acquisition of a seaworthy cargo vessel of suitable capacity and specifications. This fund should reserve money for fuel and other operational supplies for the gallery ship.
    $500,000 for the hiring of a ship and crew to support all participants during the exhibition and on the return voyage. One-month voyage in total (there and back, staying to watch the ship sink over about three days), and food and water for a maximum of 25 people, a crew of 12, the three artists, guests and myself. If the water comes in slow enough we can even have the opening on-board!
    $10,000 for white paint and supplies for painting.
    $5000 nautical engineering and oceanographic consultation
    $5000 for the cable and buoy that will mark the ships location.
    $5000 (estimation) for an accidents and incidentals insurance policy to protect all of those involved, don’t tell these guys about the opening.
    $10,000 for a really nice catalogue
    Total:
    $4,535,000
    Not to bad depending on how you look at it.

  2. balciselin Says:

    SELIN BALCI
    Transformation

    We live in a world of continual flux, where everything is in a state of becoming. Everything in our lives is constantly transforming. Even the most seemingly solid objects are made up of countless microscopic particles in a perpetual state of motion, including our very own bodies. By using organic materials and natural processes, such as growth, condensation, freezing, and/or decomposition artists create eccentric forms in erratic or irregular arrangements depicting this transformation in a process art. Making a piece of work becomes about chance – not just imposing will on something, but acknowledging its inherent qualities.
    Anya Gallaccio
    Anya Gallaccio uses ephemeral materials such as fruits, vegetables, flowers and woods, and ice. She combines those perishable elements with traditional sculptural materials, such as wax and bronze, to create lyric surrounding. Few of her works remain permanent; most decay over time. The materials she uses are highly perishable and undergo a process of transformation even as they are being exhibited. She also creates site-specific installations, often using organic materials as her medium. Past projects have included displaying a ton of oranges on a floor, placing a thirty-two ton block of ice in a boiler room, and painting a wall with chocolate. She sees her work as being both a performance and collaboration. In 1996, she built a thirty-four-tone cube of ice in an old Pumping Station in Wapping, East London. This enormous block of ice gradually melted over time. On her work named ‘Beauty’ bright red flowers (gerbera daisies) are tied together in chains and hung from a ceiling. In the opening days of the exhibit, the flowers are red, bright, beautiful and cheerful. By the end of the show they have become darker, shriveled, and covered with mold. Also, the scent of the flowers changes from a pleasant scent to the disturbing odor of decay. In another work, traditional sculpture material (bronze) is used to create the form of a tree, which is ornamented with fresh red apples. The gallery’s delicious apple scent fades as time passes. The sight and smell of rotting fruit associate the work with death and decay. Many of her pieces are beautiful and their beauty is affected for being transitory. Most of her installations remind you that beauty is short-lived and temporary.
    Tonico Lemos Auad
    Brazilian-born artist Tonico Lemos Auad makes drawings and sculptures that often explore the fleeting time and its cycles. His work expresses and reflects daily experiences, perceptions of things, and situations that are not easily noticeable or that vanish before our eyes. Auad reveals the diverse and transient nature of much of his preferred media by incorporating such things as fruits, vegetables, and plants into his works. All the materials are transformed by Auad’s subtle interventions, forming environments that have their own unpredictable cycle of events. While drawings are at the core of his work, his pieces are often site specific, often changing through time, like his drawings of bananas. In one instance, Auad turned a bunch of ripening bananas into a portrayal of a human face. The portrait was pricked is prinked by using pin onto the banana skin using a pin, and the appearance changed through time as the banana ripened. Auad’s work is concerned with materiality, sensuality, process and the relationship between the audience and their environment. Using a wide range of materials, from the ephemeral and everyday to the precious and enduring, he disregards material value to create lyrical, often transient forms. His still forms and materials explore human presence, memory, and time. In 2008, Four Winds employed a series of cast-graphite pigeons to consider processes of decay and transformation. Some of the pigeons were burnt on the top, while others were uniformly blackened. Also, the audience was encouraged to create their own wall-drawings in the gallery, perhaps by using the beak as a pencil.
    Selin Balci Scientific Portraits
    Selin Balci has a background in plant science. Much like Gallaccio and Auad’s works, her work is associated with transformation and decay. In her works, she commonly uses scientific materials such as tubes, Petri dishes, and microorganisms, all of which are very ephemeral materials. The microorganisms are mostly isolated from soil, diseased plants, or the air. The nature of these materials results in natural processes of transformation and decay, often with unpredictable results as in Gallaccio and Auad’s works. Selin also explores human identity and expressions in her science-related art works. In one of her last works, Scientific Portraits, she used Petri dishes containing a general nutrient medium to support microbial growth. She views the Petri dishes as another representation of the environment in which we live. She takes images of each volunteer with a natural facial expression and sends each person home with a Petri dish. Each volunteer lets the Petri dish sit open in his or her living room for a day. Over the next few days, colonies of microorganisms start to grow. Colonies grow by using the nutrients in the media and eventually die after all the nutrients are used. Meanwhile, the volunteer’s image disappears as the plate is overgrown and reappears once the organisms die out. In another work, she used microorganisms that she isolated from soil taken from her backyard. Fungal isolates that turned the growth media different colors were used to create a self-portrait. In the opening days, the canvas was all white. In a few days, microorganisms started to grow and fill in her silhouette. The microbes that grew on the nutrient medium in the containers (Petri dishes or tubes) represent organisms that we share our environment.

    All three artists in the exhibition (Transformation) use perishable mediums and also employ natural processes to complete their art projects. The works are transformed by the artists’ subtle interventions, creating environments that have their own unpredictable cycle of events. Each artist asks the viewer to believe that everything in our lives is in a constant state of transformation. ‘Transformation’ is centered on the fleeting time and draws our attention to natural processes and the signs of the everyday and the ordinary.

  3. Amanda Teach Says:

    What do we see when we look at images? The answer is different for everyone. Sure, we see the same things aesthetically speaking, but the interpretation is different based on who you are. This calls into question the nature of reality. Do we actually exist? Does every day life happen or are we dreaming? This debate has been going on for centuries and the struggle to define a middle ground between our waking life and our subconscious is endless. When Photography was invented, it was taken as an absolute truth. Because the results were so life-like, people everywhere were utterly convinced that the contents of each photograph had to be real. However, Hippolyte Bayard and his “Self Portrait as a Drowned Man” would soon prove to audiences everywhere that just because it has been photographed, that doesn’t make it real. Bayard was certainly still living when he produced this photograph, but the fact that he looked dead was enough for people to believe it. Bayard single-handedly invented the issue of truth or lack there of in image making. This has become an issue we are confronted with every day and has spiraled much further out of control with software like Photoshop. It is extremely difficult to discern whether what we are seeing has been manipulated or is the real mccoy. ” Real or Imagined? will use the viewpoints of four female photographers to discuss the bridge between fiction and nonfiction. Their unique perspectives speak about the voice of the other, gender, identity, the struggle between the expectations the world places on us and our longing to be our own people, what it means to be a woman in an every changing social climate, and turning the ordinary on it’s ear.
    Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman 2
    Cindy Sherman has been photographing herself for decades, but the images are by no means self portraits. They are a way of navigating through the modern media, female stereotypes, and the past dialogues about art “Untitled Film Stills” maintain a haunting ambiguity due to their lack of artist viewpoint and their stoic presence. Nothing is explained for the viewer and one is forced to create and entire narrative for the women in these photographs. These images are familiar, referencing old Hollywood movies and women we see on the street every day. However, one becomes disoriented when they are given very little information to make an assumption about anything. Cindy Sherman begs us to ask the question, how can something that we’ve seen over and over again still be so alien? Maybe the problem is that we can never truly know anyone or we have taken for granted the little things that comprise our lives.
    Nan GoldinNan Goldin 2
    Nan Goldin chooses to present the familiar in another way entirely. Her narrative is her entire life represented by somewhat garish, gritty color photographs. “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” reads like a personal diary. Her subjects are her friends, family and anyone she comes in contact with. Her imagery cannot get anymore real because it is strictly documentary. Nothing is off limits.The audience is now privy to what goes on behind closed doors. Some of these photographs one would expect to see in a family album. We all have them, snapshots of friends and family smiling and laughing and while Goldin has a few of these as well, she also chooses to acknowledge the bad things that happen every day. This reinforces the fact that we make our own reality. Most of us choose to only archive and display the good times, telling a very selective narrative when looking back at our lives. Many questions are raised by her no holds barred images. These questions surround gender roles, relationship politics, abuse, and the uncertain times she’s living in. Much like Goldin, the audience is striving to make sense of it all through these snapshot windows.
    Diane ArbusDiane Arbus 2
    The gap between the ordinary and the extraordinary is bridged with Diane Arbus. She does not create the environment in which these photographs are taken, but she does manipulate it. This is achieved by spending a great deal of time with her subjects and creating a rapport with them. Her goal is to dig for the person we all hide from the public and strike psyche gold. The monster that lives inside of us all is now wrapped in a succinct , centered, traditional black and white portrait package.Arbus went beyond interpreting what it means to be a woman or a man and tackled the much more difficult subject of what it means to be human. She dared to associate with social outcasts. Including “freaks”, transvestites, and the mentally challenged. She forces the audience to confront the fact that we as human beings feel shame when we see someone that is horribly disfigured or mentally deficient. Diane Arbus has a knack for making even the “normal” people look like they are outsiders. The point is demonstrated time and again that no one is ever full accepted in our culture and everyone feels alone at some point.
    Amanda Teach
    Also trying to navigate through her experiences with her photography is Amanda Teach. Her inspiration is taken from her life experiences, romantic relationships with men, and the role of women in our society. She builds her shooting environments and fills them with meticulously styled models. “Til’ death do us part…” is a snarky commentary on traditional gender roles. The digital color photographs depict seemingly sweet housewives from the 1950s killing their husbands in gruesome and creative ways. The imagery is amusing, however, it subtly points at the still existing stereotypes surrounding women. The series heavily relies on throwbacks to classic media such as Donna Reed and B movies to convey a sense of playfulness, but also provoke thought about the way we perceive human relationships. It is easy enough to tell what happened to the husband in each image, but what is not obvious is why it happened. The audience is invited to make up the rest of the story.
    Amanda Teach 2
    Real or Imagined? asks the viewer to investigate the fine line between how we experience life and how we express ourselves. Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Diane Arbus and Amanda Teach all work from things that happen in life, but between them, they run the gambit of the very real to the slightly distorted. Whether it be through photojournalism or inventing dream states, the audience will be allowed to find their own version of reality.

  4. loopie01 Says:

    Landescape at the Baltimore Museum of Art
    featuring new works by Lisa Dillin, Audrey Lea Collins Petrich, and Melissa Webb
    Curated by JL Stewart Watson
    A long running theme of individual works as well as entire exhibitions, “the landscape” exists in our art historical vocabulary as a staple. Until recently, the landscape was primarily the muse of painters, illustrators and other two dimensional artists. With the advent of earthworks such as Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson, and more recently, the works of Andy Goldsworthy, the idea of art existing in and as landscape has become a reality.
    In Landescape, three artists work in tandem to create artifice as nature in the atrium at the center of the Baltimore Museum of Art as well as each creates a solitary work to be placed within the museum’s galleries. This glass enclosure, built in the early 20th century, is surrounded by arched floor to ceiling steel and glass windows. The exterior walls of the courtyard are host to the Antioch mosaics, a group of 34 large scale mosaics from southeastern Turkey. These 2nd to 6th century mosaics feature many naturalistic images of plants and animals, strengthening the intersection of ancient and modern.
    Melissa Webb, Lisa Dillin, and Audrey Lea Collins Petrich all incorporate wearable art into their installations. For this exhibition, each artist will create a wearable work that directly is influenced by a piece of art housed in the Museum, thus during the reception and performance, each artists’ performance moves from the atrium, through the BMA’s permanent collection to the specific influential work of her choosing. Melissa Webb chooses a landscape painting from the European collection, Lisa Dillin chooses decorative arts that hearken back to feminine influenced crafts from the textiles wing and Audrey Lea Collins Petrich chooses a painting from the English Sporting Arts gallery.
    The atrium currently houses plant-life which will be incorporated into Landescape, however the George Rickey sculpture will be removed for the duration of the exhibition. Webb, Dillin, and Petrich draw from the environment and the influential artworks to create unique and artificial works representative of our impact on the land. This is achieved through the wearable art, performance, and installation; bringing attention to the tenuous border between the ‘here’ and ‘there’. The three artists collaborate to create a singular installation in the sunlit atrium, and though seen by 4 sides, viewers may only look at this work through the panes of glass, flattening it and framing it as a series of paintings. Only during the opening and closing performances, when walking throughout the museum, may the viewers interact with these works.
    http://www.artbma.org/visit/BMA_floorplan.pdf
    Petrich’s individual work is placed in The Miniatures Room in decorative arts, her miniature woodland scene is a humorous addition to the expertly crafted 18th century vignettes surrounding it. Dillin’s solo work is a campfire made from faux antique furniture parts that mimic those represented in the American Decorative Arts furniture room, while Webb places her “Ode to Madonna and Child,” a sublime costume with built in Jesus puppet and marionette ass in Early European Paintings.
    Melissa Webb
    http://www.inamaterialworld.com
    Melissa Webb 2
    Melissa Webb is a fiber artist and costume designer residing in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her BFA in Fiber Arts from the Maryland Institute of Art 1996. Webb creates environments, costumes and performances that blur the lines between art and theatre. With Topiary Girl, Webb creates the artifice amidst the controlled reality of actual sculpted shrubs, twisting our perception of what is natural.
    Lisa Dillin 2
    Lisa Dillin
    Lisa Dillin received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2006 and is currently working in Brooklyn, NY and Baltimore, MD. Her work strives to maintain humanity’s connection with the natural world and in doing so, comment upon artifice in fine art and everyday living. Her current work explores ideas for conceptual products designed to alleviate the hunger for the natural and primal instincts. Dillin uses animal hides, wood, plastic and both stuffed and real taxidermy animals in installations as well as photographed vignettes.
    Audrey Lea Collins Petrich
    Audrey Lea Collins Petrich is a sculptor whose work relies heavily upon its involvement with and within the landscape. Some of her works are grand scale outdoor installations, others are dioramas the viewer needs a magnifying glass to see. Her ability to interweave vast spaces and intimate details maker her ideal for this exhibition. Petrich’s earlier works involved wearable artworks that morphed into items suitable for the environment. Mussel Collecting was a performance in which she created the ideal costume/equipment to complete her task. Her current miniature landscapes like Quarterline Road, Madison NY, are incased in vitrines that heighten the un-monumental event she has chosen to celebrate, reminding us of a nostalgic place that may never have existed.

    Each artist brings an intriguing eye to this exhibition by creating artifice, nature, and a mysterious world of her own. Both in the individual works and the large landscaped installation in the middle of the museum, these three artists use staged scenes to heighten the impact of what is and is not natural. By drawing the viewers into this new environment they weave and leaving residue of the performance in its wake, Landescape seeks to ignite critical dialog about where the museum has been and is bound to go.

    JL Stewart Watson received her BFA from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991 and is a current MFA 2010 candidate at The University of Maryland, College Park. She is a sculptor, curator, and serves as Director of Area 405, an alternative exhibition space in Baltimore, Maryland where she lives with her husband, sculptor James Vose, their son, dog and cat.

  5. zacisafraidoftheinternet Says:

    Zac Jackson
    Exhibition Prop.

    666,000 sq. Ft Warehouse Space
    1654 Bayard St. Baltimore, Md
    Currently Vacant.
    “Move It or Lose It”

    Speed, our existence today is all about speed. How quickly you can get from point A to point B or how quickly you can get something from point A to point B with the smallest fee. The nightly news comes in convenient nugget sizes so they are easier to digest as its audience flash neon radon beams their food fresh from the freezer. As everything around us continues to quicken its pace we struggle to keep up. Due to this frenetic pace we struggle to make lasting connections or even to take in our surroundings.

    When work is typically presented in a gallery setting the audience is free to move from piece to piece at their own pace. They may take in a work as much or as little as they deem necessary. The gallery setting is a safe space with no rush-rush attitude and it is generally a clean forgiving white space. The “Move It or Lose It” exhibition will not be as friendly. The show will attempt to speed up and dirty up the audience’s gallery experience. The featured artworks will be installed all around the vast factory space, and no map will be included. In an effort to increase the size of the space visitors will be allowed to enter in groups of 15-30 at a time. They will be free to move about the space as they please but in order to facilitate the fleeting element of today’s society an air raid siren will go off every 30 minutes indicating that their time is up. Gallery attendants will then emerge to guide the visitors to the nearest exit so that the next group may enter. Not until the entire previous group exists will the next enter. Those who attempt to stay past the time limit will be hunted down with precision and removed. Because of this time limit, and subsequent removal, the audience will struggle to make any lasting impressions with any of the works, as it is entirely possible that they might go through the whole thing without seeing anything.

    The works that will be presented will all address the human form in several aspects. Several works will render parts of the factory useless such as the sinks and light sockets, while others will react to the presence of the audience yet they will remain incoherent and sporadic. Each artist will be showing separate works of varying size separated by no less than 30 feet from another work so that it may become more difficult for people to locate the pieces. The content of the work will make the scene more confusing and fleeting. That’s assuming that anyone actually finds any.
    Kirstof KinteraKirstof Kintera
    Kristof Kintera is a Czech sculptor who will be showing a series of kinetic works called “Talkmen”. These three and a half feet tall figures are fully clothed yet they have no facial features. The little men ask varying questions not only to each other but to the audience as well. The viewer often attempts to talk back yet it becomes clear that they can’t understand or converse in any real way. Kintera will also be showing “Revolution” another small, clothed figure. This work stands alone facing a wall and at random intervals rapidly pounds his face into the wall. Eventually his face will even break into brick. No matter how hard or fast he tries he will never make any real progress.
    Robert GoberRobert Gober 2
    Robert Gober is an American artist who is most known for his sculpture but he has exhibited in almost every medium. For this exhibition Gober will be showing his “untitled” sink/faucets works. These will replace the standard sinks that are scattered across the entirety of the warehouse. Gobers work touches on several formal and personal concerns by dealing with function and dysfunction. Normally the sinks in this dirt-covered expanse would be used to clean yet Gobers sinks only offer frustration as their plumbing has been replaced with arms and legs.
    Sebastian MartoranaSebastian Martorana 2
    Sebastian Martorana is a Baltimore based sculptor and designer. His work for the warehouse will be from his series ”Un-Commissioned Memorials”. Martorana uses old marble stairs, which are a trademark of Baltimore’s working class neighborhoods, and transforms them into incredibly well rendered pieces of the human body. One memorial features a white marble head perched atop a brilliantly polished black stone pedestal. The head stands just level with the average person, and its face is not only void of features but it is completely flat and highly polished. This allows for a prefect reflection of the viewers face as they gaze into it. Martorana’s other work is highlighted by two white marble hands extending out from a large black stonewall. Again as the viewer approaches to inspect the piece the high sheen of the wall inserts their own image into the work.
    Zac JacksonZac Jackson 2
    Zac Jackson 2

    Zac Jackson is another Baltimore based sculptor whose work for this proposal will feature a 215 ambiguous faces controlled by slow moving motors will all seemingly mouth different things yet make no sound as they will hang from every light socket in the building. They invite the viewer to attempt to understand only to realize that there is absolutely nothing to get. His other work will be a series of larger than life index fingers which will be attached and hung in various areas. Each finger is polished aluminum and as it aggresivly accuses the audience it reflects its decayed surroundings.

    Ledelle Moe is from Durban, South Africa and current resides in Baltimore. Moe will present works from her “Memorial-Collapse” series. Presented on theirs sides these large heads are taller than most people. Made of concrete and steel these large pieces evoke loss and sepperation like so much information we are presented in the daily news. Each piece is its own character will hand carving mars still present the heads give enough information to identify them as human but with no connection to any single person.

  6. Alexander Peace Says:

    Our investment in technology has opened the door for understanding spatial relationships in complex new ways. Objects can be fully understood in two dimensions through advances in 3d modeling software. Two-dimensional images can convince us that they are much more than an image, and have a similar presence as physical object. Four Contemporary artists (Robert Lazzarini, Tauba Auerbach, Xylor Jane, Alexander Peace) explore the relationship between the second and third dimensions, and find places that exist in-between.
    Lazzarini  Hammers
    Robert Lazzarini’s sculptures activate a space that is seemingly unreal. His work finds a place between an image and an object. He creates distortions of still life objects in 3d modeling software. Objects are laser scanned to create computer generated models, distortions are made in the software, and the piece becomes a skewed version of the original. Though techniques such as rapid prototyping, these models are fabricated to the scale of the original object. All the pieces are made of the same materials as the original object. For example, a hammer is rendered in steel and wood, a chair is constructed of oak, a skull is made of cast bone. The erie manipulations find a balance between the objects that they are and the images they appear to be.
    –0=-Tauba Auerbach
    Tauba Auerbach explores the liminality, or intermediate state between two dimensionality and three dimensionality. Her paintings give the illusion of a complex surface through the use of Ben Day dots. Crumpled pieces of paper are scanned into the computer. These scanned images are then turned into half-tone version of the originals. The information is then enlarged and projected onto very large canvases, and the information from the scan is meticulously hand painted. What is created is a dimensional quality that is only discovered to be false upon close investigation of the surface of the canvas. They look and they feel like objects, but do not expand physically beyond the two-dimensional surface.
    Xylor Jane
    Xylor Jane creates spacial illusions based on mathematical algorithms. These equations are infinitely complex and circumstantial to the aid technology lends to contemporary mathematics. Through her use of pattern, she is able to create spaces in the picture plane that transcend the surface on which they are painted. Her paintings at times can feel like they are oscillating, moving although they are static. Her paintings celebrate the mysteries basic to common sights and experiences.
    Alexander Peace
    Inspired by the dynamics of interacting with a dimensional object through a two-dimensional computer screen, Alexander Peace finds ways of dealing with both the object and its ability to speak through two-dimensional language. His prints present themselves as images, but in fact they are actual objects. In a similar, but opposite effect, his paintings allude to physical objects. Through the use of the two-dimensional surface, he is able to create situations that are not able to exist in true three-dimensionality, creating a push and pull between the image and reality.

    This new space between the 2d and 3d is the product of our ability to understand the world around us though the lens of technology. These four artists make work in response to the ambiguity of this space, and raises the question of not only what it is, but if it even exists at all.

  7. Pete Says:

    Engulf

    Words surround us. We are forever engulfed by the ever-present messages of the world, whether hand written, typed, mechanically produced in newspapers or books, or lit up on a television screen. The artists in this exhibition utilize common and sometimes antiquated methods of reproduction in their work. The constant bombardment of media is what makes it even more difficult for artists working with text to have a thoughtful impact in the gallery.
    Glenn Ligon
    Glenn Ligon uses common stencils to create his artwork for this exhibition. The messages Ligon uses come from texts by African American writers, such as Zora Neale Hurston. Ligon used four phrases from Hurston’s essay, “How it feels to be colored me,” for a stenciled installation. He has created a series of paintings that utilize the build up of paint on the stencil to obscure the message as it progresses further down the canvas. Some of Ligon’s work is done directly on the wall of the venue while others are painted on canvas in the range of 80 inches by 30 inches. The intent of this blurring to illegibility is to oppress the image, much in the same way the words he uses have oppressed African Americans. By using stencils, Ligon is directly referencing shipping crate labels, such as those used to transport slaves, as well as political and civil rights signage. Ligon challenges mainstream Western Culture by merging text and image to illustrate the breakdown of language and the absurdity of cultural and racial prejudice.
    Molly Springfield
    Molly Springfield is a Washington, DC based artist that deals with the issues of reproduction, technology and labor by precisely and exactly reproducing Xerox copies of texts as graphite drawings. Her most recent installation is of the first chapter of Marcel Proust’s “In search of Lost Time,” “translated” into graphite from photocopies taken from all known English translations of the original text. Springfield’s work cannot simply be grouped together with trompe l’oeil painting and drawing. There is a much higher conceptual basis than just virtuoso technique. Springfield’s “reproduction” is a play on the act of translation itself – from one language to another – and from one medium to another. The idiosyncrasies of the original French are lost when translated to English. So too are gaps and overlaps of language created within Springfield’s drawings. While taking pages from all known English texts and arranging them sequentially, page by page, chunks of the original story become missing, some phrases repeat, only with a slightly different wording. What Springfield reveals to us in her work are the missing parts of language: the differences and similarities between original, translation, copy, and interpretation.
    Peter Karis 'the disconnect'
    Peter KarisPeter Karis 2
    Peter Karis is a Baltimore Based artist whose most recent work deals with the mechanization of the written word. The image below was created using a set of large cast metal lettering. It is the result of hammering the letters directly into the wall. The inherent violence during the act of creating the message is as much a part of the work as the words themselves. Karis’ work is about time, erosion, degradation and disintegration of the message and of the self. The work, “THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN WHAT I WANT TO DO AND WHAT I CAN DO IS BECOMING MORE APPARENT.” talks literally about the desire to do more and the harsh realization that more cannot be done. The universal and ambiguous nature of the message is intentional, causing viewers to realize in themselves what they can and cannot do.
    Ken Lum
    Canadian artist Ken Lum takes a different approach by appropriating the common store signage format to subvert the typical banal messages. In this body of work the signs are “borrowed” from fictional businesses selling merchandise or travel packages. The messages he puts on display mix business language with personal messages, creating a double-edged sword that gives viewers passage into the personal lives of the shop owners. The mixing of corporate and personal messages is a commentary on race and class in ways that are sometimes unsettling. For example, in the sculpture titled, “Vietnam Travel,” Lum not only uses the language of fun family vacations, but also of Vietnamese travel and The Peoples War, where small groups of individuals rise up to overtake a much larger and more powerful government.

    Each artist in this exhibition attempts to disrupt the normal perceptions we have of the written word. The breakdown of language, in a literal sense, allows us to see beyond the words themselves, to the narratives that are hidden within. Although many are steeped in nostalgia and reference works of the past, every artist is presenting us with current and critical views of our lives. Others show us the gaps within language and the disconnect that occurs when we view common everyday signage. Even something as seemingly simple as a graphite reproduction of a photocopy can give us insight into the labor and time we take for granted living our present world.

  8. Felicia Glidden Says:

    Reattachment

    The artist’s chief difficulty, said the Hudson River School painter, George Inness, is allowing himself to submit to “the undefinable,” or “that which hides itself that we may feel after it”. (1) Reattachment is an outdoor public sculpture exhibition whose artists use the byproducts of our consumer culture to create sculptures the viewer can enter and interact within. Bridget Beck, Jesse Bercowetz, Felicia Glidden and Jonas Lindberg’s process involves “feeling after “ the sculptures they build by working quickly and intuitively. The resulting sculptures resonate from the passion instilled in the making. The artists in this exhibition have all lived in remote areas of the United States, which has led to an underlying understanding of nature’s organization and chaos. The interior spaces of these sculptures become a shelter of calm amidst an imperfect and often chaotic surrounding environment: Bercowetz’s platforms becomes the altar; Beck’s cave the perfect hiding place; Glidden’s half dome the community table and Lindbergs’s sauna the hearth and community bath.
    Bridget Beck
    Bridget Beck sculptures invite the viewer to play. She uses discarded materials to give form to her imaginary playgrounds of ships and islands. Beck grew up in South Dakota and this remote environment encouraged her to develop a rich imagination. She uses bright colors on wood and steel to create large outdoor public sculptures. Her 2009 piece “Playstation” (which is nearly complete) is a permanent site-specific installation at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota. A cement mixer becomes a dark cave, and birdhouses sprout off of the catwalk. Visitors flock to her sculptures responding to an invitation to play. Beck’s work extends an invitation for us to enter an often forgotten public space: the timelessness of imagination and play. Beck lives and works in Saint Paul, MN.
    Jesse Berowetz
    Jesse Berowetz states, “I grew up in a box in the woods of Western Kentucky.” Berowetz’s sculptures bring a sense of reverence despite combining a plethora of materials in his sculptures. His surfaces are lush with gobs of paint, saturated color, and textures. His is an intuitive and searching method and Becowetz creates as quickly as he destroys. His 2009 work “…And They Walked With Outstretched Arms” is a 28 foot towering structure of wood, paint, rope and found objects which rises like a strange, lopsided mythic church spire from the field. Bercowetz finds the sacred in the mundane though his excessive use of media. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY
    Felicia Glidden
    Felicia Glidden’s sculpture is rooted in her experience of living in the north woods of Minnesota. Amidst steep river valleys and the rocky shorelines of Lake Superior, she observed the ever changing forces of wind and water on these landscapes. In January in 2009 she built (in collaboration with two siblings) a bicycle powered coffee house on frozen Medicine Lake in MN. Part of the Art Shanties five-week project, the dome shaped Ped Pex Power Pod was a place for visitors to pedal old bicycles which were rigged to car alternators. The energy generated heated water to make coffee. The project was as much a social experiment of discovering whether the public would generate energy for another’s benefit. Glidden lives and works in College Park, MD.
    jonas lindberg
    Jonas Lindberg grew up in the St Croix River Valley in Stillwater, MN. An avid mushroom hunter, he spends much time bushwacking though fields and forests. He creates saunas from wood and steel, and his latest untitled piece includes a rowboat and a kitchen stove. An abandoned timber mill provides the exterior of thin wood with organic edges. He fires his saunas with either wood or heated stones, and invites the viewer to experience the sculpture as a social place to cleanse. The dark interior invokes a quietude with space for introspection. He built a sauna for the 2009 Art Shanty Project and once the viewer’s eyes adjusted after crawling through the tunnel entry, one could see the shanty village upside down as the ceiling was pinhole camera type projection. Lindberg lives and works in Alfred NY.

    An engagement with materials fuels these artists creativity. As contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huan states in a recent interview, “A good artist first of all has to be illogical, then you mess around, only then can you make good art.” Reattachment’s dispenses the “do not touch” signs at the gate. These artists invite the viewer to engage directly with the work. In order to bring a rural sensibility to the urban environment, this work will be installed in Madison Square Park in NYC as part of Mad. Sq. Art, a free gallery without walls in the historic 6.2 acre park located at 5th Ave and 23rd Street in New York City.

    1.The Visible and the Invisible in Art: the Secret Space of the Image, by Diane Fremont (p27)

  9. adamno Says:

    The public space includes the architecture of our interactions, ebbing and flowing between what is deemed acceptable and what is not, based on the laws governed by/for the status quo of our social exchanges. The New is established with the Old through synergy, destruction, and indifference. Classical buildings are retrofitted, leveled, or just left to stand in protest, butted against the most currently deemed standards of progress. Activities once conducted in the public sphere are now, more than ever, checked and balanced against what has been declared to be for the “good” of the public. Areas of public space with undefined boundaries are, however, ever-present waiting to be addressed. Public space shifts its defined borders based on the movement of the moment, and people adapt and assimilate to address those movements… good or bad. This event proposal is an impossible collaboration between artists from around the globe, living and dead, who have created situations that take place in, or in the face of, the established public boundaries.
    Gordan matta clark
    Gordan Matta Clark 2
    The first artist was Gordon Matta Clark, who died in 1978 at the age of 35. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in architecture, but moved toward creating a wide variety of artistic works, and events. Arguably best known for his “building cuts”, Clark would enter illegally into houses and buildings scheduled for demolition, and then cut into their architecture, opening up new spaces which enabled previously unseen light and physical flow to redefine the structure and the space. These buildings would be demolished a short time later. The works continue to exist only as documentation in the form of video, photography, and actual architectural remnants from the “cuts”.
    CaiKai Quo Qaing
    The second is the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qaing, born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian, China. Cai Guo-Qaing began his career with a focus on the use of gunpowder. Today, through the use of meticulously choreographed computer programs, Qaing is able to create “explosion events” in which fireworks of various colors are detonated over, on, and through both paper and public space. These “explosion events” range in venue from the most recent Olympic games in China to the sky above the city of Hiroshima. Some have linked his gunpowder drawings with the Maoist/Socialist concepts in relation to the idea “destroy nothing, create nothing”.
    Santiago Sierra
    Santiago Sierra
    Santiago Sierra is a Spanish artist that lives in Mexico City. The work he generates is rooted around the ideas of exploitation, labor, and capitalism. This work takes its form through various media including minimalist sculpture, conceptual photography, and performance. This work interrogates the limits imposed by contemporary society.
    Since it is impossible for the artists to meet in the present, I am proposing a collaborative show/event that could take place were Gordon Matta Clark alive today. First an appropriate building in the Baltimore harbor area (that land which is further south near the forgotten industrial ports) would be selected. The building would be one slated for demolition. Then, depending on the documents needed to conduct a show in said building, the artist would have a “gallery” to display some of their works documentation.
    Matta Clark
    For Matta Clark, there would be in the gallery a project titled Fake Estates that he was unable to fully realize due to his untimely death. The work centered on unusable slivers of real estate Clark purchased which the city of New York auctioned off as “gutterspace”. Qaing would have explosion drawings from his show at the Hirshorn titled Unlucky Year: Unrealized Projects from 2003-2004. Sierra’s included piece would be the 2007 Four black vehicles with the engine running inside an art gallery. All of these pieces provide commentary on what could, and does, occur in the public realm.
    I also propose to have an event coordinated by the artists in the public eye that may or may not have the permission of the City of Baltimore. Sierra would recreate an event he conducted in Mexico city titled Obstruction of a Freeway with a Trucks Trailor where a driver was paid to block a freeway ramp with a tractor trailer. At the moment that the traffic jam caused by this starts to form, an anarchitectural cutting would be opened from the gallery, and a pyrotechnic “explosion event” would discharge from inside out, transforming the building, and the air space above… over the Chesapeake Bay. The pyrotechnic piece I have selected from Qaing’s arsenal is his “Black Medicine” rainbow, originally created to commemorate the victims of a terrorist attack, and would provide an irregular circumstance of pyrotechnics in public space that usually occur only on specific holidays (New Years as an example). This collaborative show/event will take place out in the open as both a planned/unplanned event and bring into question what is deemed acceptable in public space, and what still occurs regardless of those constraints. It would also demonstrate that how we choose to interact with public space is still open for interpretation.

  10. jonm191 Says:

    Sedation & Ideology
    Masters of Painting vs Hollywood

    Part 0 – Intro
    Hollywood movies, religious Baroque painting, and Neoclassical painting are certainly all authoritative mediums. The viewer looks up, in a sort of trance, watching stories unfold in a reality, which looks similar to our own, but somehow bigger, more coherent, compelling and attractive. This turns the viewer into an emotionally impotent and vulnerable spectator, perfectly susceptible to suggestion of identity and ideology. As a result these bodies of work, spanning 400 years, serve in remarkably similar ways as a type of propaganda; a control mechanism for the masses. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), Michael Bay (1965- still alive), Jacque-Louis David (1748-1825), and Tony Scott (1944- still alive) are all experts in crafting this ego-reducing experience. By highlighting certain similarities in these varying bodies of work, this exhibition questions how we are affected and manipulated by the media we are exposed to.

    Part I – Sedation

    Michael Bay’s Armageddon could be best described as anti-thought provoking; in fact it is the epitome of how big-budget cinema makes you sleep so comfortably that one would fork over money to experience it. Michael Bay’s genius lies in depicting an impossible and astoundingly cheeky reality that is essentially ignorable for a while. Instead the viewer experiences this shamelessly manipulative reality as if it is his or her own. This leaves the viewer very susceptible to the debased depictions of national identity and false blue-collar heroism, playing into the hopes, and desires of the American audience, essentially sedating them ideologically. It makes us nostalgic for a “America-can-do-anything” Kennedy-esque era that never was. It also and perhaps more importantly, glorifies the working-class social orders and through relentless stereotypes, makes those viewers feel comfortable in them.

    After the Council of Trent in the later 16th century, in order to battle the iconoclasm in Northern Europe and collect as many souls as they can, the Church became alive a with fresh new PR campaign. In a testament to the power of images, Caravaggio, with his street-drama depictions of biblical stories, became of much value for the Church as he was able to give the illiterate tithe-paying herds exactly what they wanted with unprecedented efficiency. His ability to put everyday figures as placeholders for gods brought heaven and salvation back down to earth. These belief-suspending paintings, as centerpieces in the multi-media experience of the Church, were the big guns in a propagandistic battle. They enforce the notion that miracles can happen to ordinary people, and gives the deprived masses exactly what they are wishing for; hope in salvation, and consequently unquestionable devotion to the Church.

    The Beheading of St John the Baptist, 1608, is particularly effective for its theatrical arrangement of characters (indeed the entire setup of this painting in St. Johns Co-Cathedral in Malta is strikingly like a theater stage). The Sacrifice of Isaac, 1603, is also featured for its ability to capture a climatic moment, as well as the startling realism in the scared young Isaac. Supper at Emmaus, 1606, is highlighted, for the characters’ theatrical gestures. These are however only a few of the tactics used to suspend their viewers belief and replace for a short while their current experience with an ideologically driven reality.

    Part II – Ideology

    Tony Scott’s Top Gun, 1986, exploits and as a result enforces the ideological shifts in American culture in the Regan era and onwards. We have the hero, Maverick, un-relentlessly portrayed as having no purpose in life other than getting ahead, being better than any peer, and getting his way with women. In other words, it depicts the ideal role model for the new financial and geo-political polices taking hold of the country at the time. Moreover the film, like a lot of action films, operates in a binary universe where Americans are good, and Arabs or Soviets are evil. Through purposeful filmmaking and awsome shots of jet fighters, Top Gun literally encodes the militaristic and individualistic ideology of the Regan era onto the unwitting population at large.

    We can look at the work of painter Jacques-Louis David in a very similar way, but instead of Regan we have Napoleon and Robespierre. David paints with same level of effectiveness as Tony Scott directs, and its affect is no less apparent. Whether before, after, or during the French Revolution, David’s paintings are unabashedly political, yet poignantly effective in re-enforcing specific ideology and identity. Oath of the Horatii, 1784, is a history painting which excites the hungry populace about taking up arms and fighting. Soon after this was shown to the public at the Louvre, life began to imitate art with the French Revolution. Helicopters landing in Grenada, and fighter planes over Iraq in the Gulf War began to imitate Top Gun as well, and with just as much excitement.

    David’s propaganda works of Napoleon, such as Napoleon at the Saint-Bernard Pass (1801), are so blatantly obvious in their effect and intent they need no elucidating. However this exhibition includes the painting Portrait of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and His Wife, 1788, and a close examination of this will give insight into the subtle and subversive nature of these works. In this painting David is giving us a role model for leaders at a time where France is on the brink of Revolution. Lavoisier is a nobleman, but a generous one, who here is depicted working away on improving living conditions with his chemistry and engineering. David depicts his wife as no object, but a partner. David proves to any viewer that these are leaders we can trust and aspire to. Tony Scott does something similar with Charlie, Maverick’s love interest and trophy for being top gun. She is a perfect Reganite female; in a position of authority (but ultimately subservient to her man), out for promotion, smart, but still feminine in behavior and looks. There is an exquisite nuance to how this and other political notions are translated through the artworks, and this makes it all the more effective.

    Part III – Conclusion

    The artists in this exhibition are superior in their ability to mobilize their audience’s desire into certain modes of thought and behavior which aim to maintain and reproduce the status quo. The affect films like Armageddon and Top Gun have on the collective psyche and their sociological influence are underestimated and overlooked. By paring these works with paintings whose historical context is better understood, this exhibition aims to define and reveal that affect.

  11. donkeykong3 Says:

    Digital Absorption Group Show Proposal by David Knobel

    Digital Information is represented by a discrete numeric value, a flattening of physical sources to virtual codes. The present status of the human condition and or evolutionary stage is today at the forefront of many professional minds. The introduction of digital technology albeit self important or egotistical to believe is one of the more dramatic steps in human socio-cultural and or personal developmental inventions to occur since the birth of the steam engine. Not to say that this is an instantaneous shift to another type of being and or society but to say that a shift is occurring over a long period, after leaving culture dramatically altered. Some of the many shifts include our desire for separation and escape into digital fantasies.
    Digital technology has infected or affected almost all areas of our culture. This technology has allowed many freedoms to information, liberation from cubicles as well as major organizational aids. Digital technology has also allowed us to escape to a flatted world at a moments notice. As time has gone on these digital escapes have become an integral part of social normalcy. The benefits of this escape may consist of many things such as enhanced problem solving and rapid visual information absorption. Many psychologists believe that escape to fantasy is positive although in large quantities could create negative personal and societal effects. The way we view and create and interpret images has changed and will continue as digital technology takes a tighter hold of our world. Many artists today have taken the call to observe, interact and in a less traditional model document the many effects of digital technology upon us culturally and personally.
    Digital Absorption is a small group exhibition consisting of artists working with various mediums directly influenced by or consisting of digital technology and it’s effects on the human condition and or perspective.
    AESF
    AESF 2
    The Russian collective AES&F uses digital technology to create their works later to be output as analogue objects. The photographic series Action Half Life: Episode 2 2003 is focused around virtual war. The photographs contain weapons, aircraft, as well as various architectural details fashioned in the computer program 3D Max. The 3d rendered objects are scattered throughout desert landscapes with distinctly almost robotically posed children’s fashion models at the helms of the destructive items. The work attempts to bring up issues of fashion, video games, war and the isolation of virtual experience from our daily life.
    Gradient

    Naptime
    Artist Cory Arcangel also uses digital technology to create his works some of which are later output as analogue objects. The bulk of Arcangle’s work has been focused around old Nintendo video games wherein he painstakingly hacks to do various non-tasks later creating videos of the outcome. This type of work created by use of video games is by some called machinima, short for machine made cinema. Currently Arcangle is creating works with the use of Photoshop consisting of a simple program default gradient printed on large-scale photographic paper. Arcangel leaves much of his other work for an online only audience via outlets such as YouTube. Arcangel’s work is in some cases quite minimal allowing the viewer to bask in the synthetic digital gradients without distraction. They act as a core example of digital technology, the foreign nature of our new visual culture. In Arcangel’s hacked Nintendo works, by removing the game and creating non-games he filters our experience. This filter allows viewers to dissect the medium without normal interaction thus removing the context and creating a new value.
    Artimisa
    Trala
    Robert Michael Smith is another example of an artist who directly uses virtual digital technology to create work. Smith’s believes “art is alchemy. Alchemy is the magic, observation, process and ritual of life.” It’s relatively clear that Smith sees himself as some sort of modern day sorcerer/artist. Smith’s work consists of many materials but the exhibition pieces will consist of materials manipulated by the processes of computer numerically controlled milling and rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping is an additive process while CNC is subtractive, in each process the creator is completely reliant on digital technology. Smith’s sculptures are an exercise in the creativity of the human mind in relation to digital technology, as well as discussing basic structural forms of nature. Smith’s use of the digital to create abstracted natural forms in synthetic material brings about questions of our purpose as a species, digital interaction, and the rebirth of mysticism in art.
    The work of artist David Knobel is inspired by the digital medial later to be reconstructed by the use of analogue techniques. David being directly influenced by the video game media over the course of his life uses his experience to construct fantastical illusionary spaces created in the formal language of many digital games. The forms in the work are stacked and piled in towers with the appearance of collapsing at any moment. This tension created along with the varied disorienting and saturated colors in the work may allow the viewer to escape their reality and enter the realm of a foreign environment. This moment of escape much like the appearance of the represented towers is a fragile status of being. This status of being is similar although fleeting and less interactive in comparison to that of the sensations produced by interacting with the video game medium. At the core the work attempts to have a discussion about the escape and fantasy in our digital society.

  12. Joe Hoffman Says:

    Dist, a show

    People and events of our past exist as foggy visions in our mind’s eye. Often the first part of a person you recognize is the contours of their silhouette. When remembering a single event a group of people will frequently have conflicting accounts of a shared experience. We put disfigured and distorted elements together everyday to form an approximation of what we call reality. How are we able to make sense out of the fragmented pieces of our perception? The following show will explore artists that are using fragmentation and distortion to create a situation of muddled perception for the viewer leaving them with an ambiguous approximation of everyday life experiences.
    Jim Campbell
    Jim Campbell 2
    Jim Campbell explores the distorted eye of memory in his installation Liz Walking: A distillation Portrait. Campbell projects a video of six people with disabilities walking. The projection is broken down and abstracted using hundreds of individual LED lights blanketed over the walls of the gallery. By blurring the projection Campbell has taken away every element of identity from each individual, other than his or her shadowy figure. The cadence of their gait is all that is left to be recognized in the foggy images on the wall. The viewer is engulfed on all sides by this projection and left to know their subject solely by the visual rhythm of their steps.
    Jason Salavon
    Jason salavon 2
    Jason Salavon creates compositions out of reconfigured pieces of a larger whole. In one of his seminal pieces, The Class of 1988, Salavon takes the image of each individual classmate from his graduating class and layers the portraits in order to create a single portrait of the entire class. By creating an amalgamation of everyone in his class he has given the viewer a distorted image of the class of 1988’s identity. The image is both everyone and no one. In his own words, “an unexpected pattern emerges as the relationship between the part and the whole is explored”. By looking into the past for his source material, Salavon has further separated the viewer from the original identity of the students pictured.

    Joe Hoffman deconstructs speaker systems then reassembles them into less recognizable forms. Once these metal monsters have been reassembled they are hooked up to short-wired amplifiers, which causes them to cough and twitch creating unexpected sounds. The speakers, once a source of music and the human voice, have been distorted to make unidentifiable chatter. As the tweeters and woofers speak they drift from chaos into unison chants. Though they are mechanical their unpredictable movement is biomorphic and makes the sculptures seem as though they have a consciousness of their own. The noise created by the speakers’ rhythm is often familiar to that of a heart beating or person struggling to breath.
    Christoph Girardet
    Christoph Girardet appropriates a three second clip of King Kong c.1933 and distorts it into a full-length seizure of sounds and visual noise. In his video, Release, Girardet takes Fay Wray’s scream of horror and repeats it over and over while distorting both imagery and sound. Her image is projected the full height of a wall. The viewer is overwhelmed when they encounter the installation by both the immensity of the projection and the force of the scream. The image of Fay Wray is easily recognizable as an iconic symbol of 20th century film. By appropriating and distorting this three-second clip Girardet has created a piece that both captures and conveys a horror far beyond that of the original King Kong. The video is familiar to the viewer while at the same time repulsing them.

    In Dist artists take advantage of the disfigured and distorted image in order to create a new unified whole. By separating the viewer from the microscope of realism they present the opportunity to isolate a moment. The viewer is able to spend time meditating on the essence of the action that occurs within that moment.

  13. henj Says:

    Naïveté
    Michael Tedja, Wes Lang, Matthew Wead, William Christenberry, Jack Henry

    ‘Naïveté’ combines artists who use folk art aesthetics to create unsettling, cultural-specific work. Michael Tedja, Wes Lang, William Christenberry, Matthew Wead and Jack Henry cannot be considered folk artists because they have been academically trained. A clear folk influence is present in their naïve styles of art making. Excessive appropriations of found objects and images create a collage aesthetic that borders on the obscene.

    Folk art is specific to the culture in which it is made. The artists in ‘Naïveté’ draw upon themes personal to their culture or geography in order to construct raw, overwhelming imagery. Each of the artists mix social messages in their uninhibited selections of loaded material. The results are ambiguous social commentaries made from universally accessible references.

    Michael Tedja’s (b.1971, Netherlands) work is a stream of consciousness reconstruction of objects and ideas that help form his identity. Leaving nothing to waste, Tedja uses found objects including; bicycle parts, cups, scraps of wood, photos, etc. in a seemingly uncontrolled manner. His aggressive process combines painting, drawing, collage, and assemblage displayed on a collection of life-size panels. The panels are arranged to make large scale installations that spill out onto the floor and ceiling. Tedja’s work has a primitive motif that references his African-Dutch heritage. Racial and Dutch historical themes are mixed with banal objects and heavy handed marks. Black and white figures are drawn next to jungle animals and the skin figures found in appropriated portraits is painted to a different color. every object and image has an equal rough veneer. Tedja’s nonhierarchical use of objects and images forms a map of his complex identity.

    Wes Lang’s (b.1972, USA) collage’s create jarring narratives by juxtaposing loaded found imagery. He composes meticulous drawings and cut out pictures on aged paper in a tattoo parlor format. The appropriated images have an American theme and are given equal space on the page. Subjects range from Native American culture, African American culture, advertising, politics, pornography, rock and roll, and country/western lifestyle. Each subject misinforms the other to draw an ambiguous lineage: a perverted vision of America’s recent history with a feeling of youthful rebellion, lowbrow culture, and vulgarity.

    William Christenberry’s (b.1936, USA) haunting constructions and photographs refer to his childhood home of Hale County, Alabama. His models and photographs of abandoned building facades have a rough and cracked texture to them. These depictions are void of any figures, giving them the feeling that something dangerous is looming. The only figures he uses are in an installation titled “Klan Room”, a collection of dolls and assemblages that depict the Klu Klux Klan. His fascination with the KKK began with a run in he had tried to attend a meeting with the group. When faced with one of the masked Klan members Christenberry fled. It was then that he began collecting imagery and objects based on the KKK. The assemblages are made from nontraditional materials and all have a southern folk art quality. The work walks the line between parody, condemnation and celebration; a conversation in keeping with the southern condition.

    Matthew Wead (b.1984 USA) builds shrines to personal struggles. The installations are overloaded with a mixture of woodcuts, sculptures, found objects, and self-portrait photographs that seem as though they have been pulled out of the artist’s attic. Each object appears to be a specific memory. Though seemingly random at first glance, a narrative of the artists life comes to the surface. What the viewer can recognize is the blunt racial references and depictions of the difficulties of growing up. Track medals and a basketball hoop worn to the point of being useless are next to naïve stylized drawings of African American figures carrying each other. A picture of the artist strangling himself with a tie is hung next to a throne. Though the installation is personal there are entry points to allow the viewer to empathize with the work.

    Jack Henry’s (b.1984 USA) recreations of roadside memorials are life-sized models made out of the materials traditionally used to build the original roadside shrines. Henry’s fascination with roadside memorials began when he constructed one for the loss of a high school friend which days later was unexpectedly removed. The sincere act of making a roadside memorial for a lost loved one is at once so personal and so public. Yet, roadside memorials are often overlooked by the public. In the gallery the site-specific quality and personal context of the shrines is no longer present providing the viewer with a safe opportunity to explore the constructions. The act of placing the recreations in a gallery is reinforced by the qualities of roadside memorials that resemble trends in contemporary soft sculpture. Though the intent was to honor the memorial making process, It has been disputed whether or not the work is morally prudent.

    Naïveté brings together five artists that reference folk art traditions to create work that challenges aspects of their culture. Each artist uses nontraditional materials to create formally awkward compositions and ambiguous narratives.

    .

  14. horjus Says:

    Timothy Horjus

    CONSTRUCT

    We live in a world where our experiences are mediated and our perceptions are based on these experiences. Most of our lives are lived within the accepted hierarchies of culture and society. Most americans under the age of 50 will never experience a time of such radical shifts in understanding as those surrounding the 60’s and 70’s. This is not to minimize the changes in our contemporary culture, but the experiences and information we rely upon are all so heavily mediated that the majority accept them as actual. The question that these four artists share and grapple with, is that of our contemporary experiences and identities within the context of these accepted social and cultural hierarchies. The ideas expressed in each body of work revolve around the concept of the construct of our identities and experience through media, culture, and consumerism. These forces are both deeply personal and horribly corporate and work in tandem to define us. These four artists use the tradition of painting to begin a deep interrogation of the construct whereby we define ourselves and our experiences are dictated.
    Seth Adelsberger
    Seth Adelsberger
    Seth Adelsberger

    Seth’s work is an amalgamation of loosely painted signs and signifiers of consumer identity. His hand evident in a playful embrace of the history of mark-making, while at the same time deploying what is read as a dictionary of corporate forms shapes and ideas. The build up of these forms overwhelm the feeling of the individual and create a construct, both literally in the space of the painting as well as the conceptual. The conceptual is at once an embrace of the antiquated idea of the artistic genius, while at the same time looking to popular or corporate influences for subject matter. This move assists in the reading of this work as an exploration in the build up of cultural signifiers slowly amalgamating into what we as individuals assume to be our unique identities.

    Ian MacLean Davis

    Ian McLean Davis

    With a similar approach Ian’s work is a personal journey through the images and ideas that have formed many of the artists’ ideas about self. The work is an examination of the building blocks of the construct of his personal and cultural identity from an amalgamation of cultural ideals or icons. The construction of the image is in direct relationship with its commentary on the cultural context. The images are sourced from fine art and popular culture and layered in a manner so as to remove any semblance of hierarchy from these images. The images are chosen by Davis, filtered through computer programs and layered so as to hint at but never truly reveal their sources. The source imagery for the painting ‘Sea’ are as follows, Bettie Page, Botticelli’s “Venus” and an Egon Shiele partial-nude drawing of his sister Gertie. While these images in reproduction look to be devoid of the artists hand, Ian meticulously paints each line over the entire surface, at once establishing a maker, and at the same time questioning the idea of one.

    Katherine Mann

    Katherine Mann

    In Katherine’s examination of her constructed identity the viewer is presented with a conglomerate of adverse cultural signifiers. The forms, lines, and colors in the work point both to Eastern and Western ideas about painting as well as cultural traditions. The opposition of these two cultural influences are based upon the artists own struggle to find a method of reconciliation between these vastly differing cultures and traditions in her heritage. Her application of paint is at once intuitive, following an eastern approach to art, and measured and controlled, following a more western approach. It is in this tension between method, spilled and splattered sumi inks, and the taped off, controlled patterns that we find the space that the artist herself resides in. The mysticism of the other transposed upon the order of the scientific and mathematical.

    Jarrett Min Davis
    Jarrett Min-Davis

    Jarrett Min-Davis

    Jarrett’s work is also about personal identity, specifically the bewilderment of his identity. His paintings are filled with images source from traditional asian culture, a part of his heritage, and are surrounded by the signs of western culture. Unlike Mann he persues the reconciliation of these cultures through the utilization of a third, traditional Flemish painting methods and archetypes. Min-Davis is not only exploring the constructs of his identity based on cultural heritage, but his own hybridized identity formed as a result of the mixing of these traditions. We are given the images of contemporary and traditional Korea, but they are juxtaposed with the images of contemporary western culture. The surveillance cameras leaving one with a feeling of the panopticon and social hierarchies and mediation during the formation of our identities, but specifically Min-Davis’ identity in which we can all catch a glimpse of our own identity.

    All of these artists use very disparate methods of confronting the apparatus that define their identities. The extremely traditional method of portraiture in Min-Davis’ work, the loose intuition of of Manns’ spills, the all-over very formal approach of Davis, and the overwhelming massing of forms in Adelbergers’ work, all interrogate our concepts of our identities through the exposing of the constructs upon which we hang our ideas of self. All through the most self conscious of artistic mediums, painting.

  15. Mike Booker Says:

    FAMILY AFFAIR
    Works by Michael Booker, Jin Young Yu, and Adam Neate

    The family. We all have one, whether is by blood or by bond. We love them, we hate them. It’s something that we all long for even if we think we don’t. A connection with people that love us no matter what, or rather, they have to. FAMILY AFFAIR is a show the questions the idea of the modern day family and everything it is represented as, and what it really is.

    Michael Booker creates an installation which exposes the underlying dysfunction of the stereotypical All-American family. Using wallpaper, cabinet doors, full size doors, picture frames, and windows as his canvas, a room reminiscent of an average middle-class family is created. The idea of family portraiture is played with, questioning just how real those family portraits are and how well do they really represent the happiness and togetherness of a family. The emotions and representations are changed to depict what is really going on within the family. In “beLIEve,” a simple portrait of a male wearing a “wifebeater” is drawn on white wallpaper, but with no facial features. The absence of a face draws to the emptiness within, giving him ghostly qualities in conjunction with the damask pattern of the wallpaper coming through his body.

    Jin Young Yu, like Michael Booker, portrays the hidden emotions within a family. Life-size, PVC sculptures of a family, mainly female, are placed on the floor in a setting. Only the face and certain features of each person are described, leaving the rest of the body as an empty, hollow shell. The faces give off almost blank stares, as if they are trying to hold back showing the saddened emotions that they really feel. As stated by Jinyoung, “My works are about people who, instead of getting along with others, choose to keep a distance from them, and be invisible or be left alone unconcerned. Instead of trying to fit into the world, they climb into a space of their own and reject other people’s intrusions.” In “Welcome Goodbye,” nine women and young girls, and even a dog, are all hiding their true emotion from us. Some are holding a mask of an alternate face that can be put on to show them smiling, a face they like to show the world. Here, we see them at a vulnerable state, revealing their true identity.

    Adam Neate, who is most known for his leaving literally thousands of his work out on the street for anyone to collect, is exhibiting his mixed media pieces in the show. Using found objects, such as cardboard and clothes, he tears the material, builds it in layers staples pieces together, and paints them, creating the figure in a three-dimensional space. He also plays with the idea in adding a four dimension, time into his work. “Family Circle,” depicts a family consisting of a baby in the arms of a mother and father grieving over an older man presumably lying in his death bed. The Cubist representations of the figures are placed in their own layer in space to deepen the work, to compare with the deep, saddened emotions throughout. The theme of the “Circle of Life” is also at work, moving from birth as a baby, to the life of adults and parenthood, then to the elderly stage and death.

    FAMILY AFFAIR depicts how all families are affected through life through painting, mixed media, and sculpture. The authenticity of the happy-go-lucky middle class family is challenged and the true essence of what a family really goes through is depicted.

  16. slaing Says:

    ‘The way we want to be’ is a international group show responding to our need for a reengagement with mankind’s primal urges. In this age of environmental and economic collapse, and political and social upheaval, the effect on the individual is one of disconnect: with one’s self, one’s sense of place and in some extremes, one’s purpose. A globally pessimistic outlook can lead to a denial of one’s individual role in a situation and a general hopelessness. Suppressed basic urges manifest themselves in macabre, perverse ways. They can trigger a dark group mentality that appears to permit destructive events. Under such circumstances, we need to confront the primal desires and emotions that ultimately lead to our own downfall. We require a device or a portal in which to to expose our repressed desires: be them violent, sexual or simply raw self indulgence. Three artists, Dasha Shishkin, Iain Sommerville and Stuart Lorimer work to subvert the innocent. They each create imagery that can at first appear surreal, but is soon recognisable as disturbing critique of own inner imaginings and wants.
    Lorimer
    Stuart Lorimer’s paintings develop without premeditated planning. Lorimer finds the romantic act of gestural painting, a way to expel and reflect upon a constant stream of information from media, cinema and literature. The work explores a universal preoccupation with magic and superstitious ritual to explain a world full of seemingly untamable horrors. Key to Lorimer’s vernacular is the utilisation of recurring invented characters such as an otherworldly monstrous figure composed as a mass of human hair. This figure is described by Lorimer as a self-portrait, or a reference to underlying animalistic human tendencies, and appears again in ‘Rituals/Habits’. Within this dark expressive forest setting, the bright yellow backdrop pulls forward revealing 3 male figures huddled together and toying with a large dinosaur-like creature. Thick rainbow paint globs and spurts from the creature’s neck, while the ominous “hair” character watches, lurking in the foliage. In other works we see a flux between the imaginary and the real. In ‘Red Cherries’, a fashionable dressed young woman, has been hunting pigeons with arrows. ‘New Travelers Almanac’, a disfigured male figure faces a mysterious towering costumed character. ‘Pig of God Festival’ acts as a response to Jorg Immendorf’s Cafe Deutschland: an imaginary microcosm containing a rabble of past and present political figures, celebrities and friends.

    Dasha Shishkin paints and draws universes in which groups of soulless figures gorge, fornicate, laze, bathe, birth and die. The figures are often bald, naked and fluctuate in form, sometimes appearing as disembodied heads or limbless bodies. Their faces exhibit blank stares or empty smirks and there is an overall unnerving sense of dissatisfaction and limbo. Shishkin’s spiraling acidic palette, continuous pencil drawing and complex patterning could be the set-up for a heavy hallucinogenic trip. The work hints at outsider art and is often compared to that of Henry Derger, however these pieces are more self aware and there are strong references to art history. The larger, busier works are particularly reminiscent of Brueghel’s bizarre worlds. In ‘Come on and Blow it’, intoxication and sexual drives motivate goblin faced subhumans to circle in an unnaturally vibrant outdoor setting. Toxic green smoke slowly wafts from their mouths. Other works suggest vanity and materialism to be controlling forces. In ‘Gorgeous People’, pink store visitors eye up products and bodies lain in coffins on display. ‘It Takes Money to Feed Pretty Girls’, shows a yellow being covered in phallic growths. Not quite human or animal, he performs mysterious ritual on a small male stretched between two trees.
    Iain Sommerville
    Where Shishkin and Lorimer draw from art history, current events and self referencing, Iain Sommerville utilises classic stories as a metaphor for underlying sexual and violent frustrations. A known story common to these works is the classic British puppet show, Punch and Judy. Punch and Judy is often criticised for it’s morally dubious plot line: Punch’s outrageous hyperactive aggression toward wife Judy and Baby, a policeman, a crocodile and eventually the Devil. ‘Fool’ shows Sommerville’s take on the Punch character who, at the same time is both ridiculous, yet dangerous. The puppet show often provokes aghast hilarity from it’s audience, but here the humour is stripped away to reveal a morose, disfigured form. ‘Stang Rider’ shows the imagined impact on a figure having having been forced to suffer ‘Riding the Stang’, a ritualistic medieval punishment for adultery. These methodical acts of violence suggest they were motivated less by being a means of retribution, than of perverse fascination or satisfaction. Carnavelesque imagery alludes to the dark undertones of human nature. These sculptures warn of an inner yearning for violent experimentation and chaos.

    ‘The way we want to be’ discusses a necessary confrontation with real, carnal, naïve drives. All three artists deal with tangible mediums of paint and clay, and are affected by our global make-up coupled with their own personal circumstance. They reveal a world of carnal curiosity, disturbed self exploration, endless indulgence, dissatisfaction and pathetic, fruitless wanting. Each artist asks the viewer to confront their creation of magical elements, and acknowledge their part in real events. Their works act to dispel the notion that a fascination with violence, sex and ritual is voyeuristic perversion, and instead recognise them as natural human traits. Using commonalities such as human form, landscape and the ambiguous ominousness of common folklore, these artists distort the recognisable to elicit the dark unconscious, universal urges within ourselves.

  17. Francis Gash Says:

    Hi there may I use some of the material from this post if I provide a link back to your site?

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