The UnConventional Gathering Place
For my Gallery Visit, I visited the UnConventional Gathering Place at Intermedia Arts Center in Minneapolis, MN. The event was held from August 30th to November 8th and was done as a politically-themed counterpoint to the Republican National Convention being held in St. Paul. The event featured many different media, all from Minnesota-based artists, although a large portion of the works were â€śnew mediaâ€? installations. The art was all very political in nature, with a noticeably liberal slant.
The UnConvention was planned as an artistic opposite to the RNC, using art and media to allow liberal-minded artists and other politically-engaged citizens to meet and discuss the election and political climate through art and installation. All of the art that was displayed showed a liberal theme, such as the â€śMy Yard, Our Messageâ€?, an installation piece featuring a small â€śyardâ€? populated with dozens of political yard signs, all designed by local artists and available for purchase for $20. The signs all have liberal messages, many trying to get people to vote or protest the war (http://theunconvention.com/projects/my-yard-our-message/index.html).
One specific work that got a lot of buzz at Intermedia Arts was â€śNew Stationsâ€? by James Case Leal of New York. It consists of a pile of television sets arrayed in the middle of a small walking space, all of which display the same looping, surreal video. This work (and others like it, in various other galleries) aims to bring people together instead of sending them home to watch television alone and isolated. The piece attempts to reinvent the television medium, putting the viewer in control instead of the networks and corporations of the world.
If I were to tell a friend about this exhibition, I would say that it is a wonderful political forum, on both a local and world-wide scaleâ€”as long as you are of a liberal political view. As a counterpoint to the RNC, the UnConventional Gathering Place is not very conservative-friendly, but for liberally-/artistically-minded people, it can be an extremely interesting experience. Although a few of works seemed a bit unnecessary (such as â€śPolitical Science 101â€?, which was nothing but graphs and blog statistics shown from a slide projector), the gallery in general was quite fascinating.