April 9, 2009

Nash Gallery

After browsing the entire gallery, I found myself most attracted to "Lesson One, Lesson Two, and Lesson Three 2009 [installation]" by Rebekah Champ.

This piece was very colorful and intriguing. There were various blocks of images to delve into. I walked through the artwork, and made a list of pictures I saw. Here are some things I collected: ripples, books, "shhh", desks, chair, light, stripes, arrow, dots, shapes, "certified", "center", mathematics, outlets, rooftops, arrows, wood, etc.

I enjoyed the variety in this piece. It did not bore me so, and I felt comfortable coming back to study the work, again and again.

This piece is quite inspiring.

MFA Reflection - Kalyn Williams

The piece that I felt most strongly about at the MFA show was "Making Things Matter." I'm not sure who the artist was because there was no name on the title sheet near the piece, however, they did a fantastic job. The piece was in the back of the gallery and set up like a hallway, with low lighting (literally...there were low-wattage lightbulbs hanging down from the ceiling that were about four feet from the ground on the sides of the installation). The walls were covered in scratches and pieces of the plaster/wallpaper were torn down.

It felt like I was walking through a horror movie...this is a good thing because I love horror movies. The damaged walls made it seem like something was trying to get out from behind them. If you have seen it, it looked like the movie "Silent Hill." There was a large section of wall where it looked like something could have escaped, which made me a little wary.

Overall, the entire installation was my favorite because of the quiet fear that it instilled in me. There was no sound component, so it allowed me to get even more into the piece mentally.

If I could ask three questions, they would be:

1. What was the material you used on the walls?
2. Why did you decide to have no sound component in the installation?
3. How fun was it to rip up the walls? :)

-Kalyn Williams

Archaeology of Conceptions

Alright so I'm not exactly sure who's work this was (I believe Katinka) but I responded greatly to it's dualities and visual effects. It is simply a white sheet of paper with white reflective text. I was initially drawn in by the aesthetic of the work and its similarity to a drawing done by a student exhibited in the west side of Regis.

It can be viewed from three visual perspectives, which imply vastly different emotions and definition to the text itself. Walking up from one side, you might see the grey text on white and read it as a straightforward letter or transcribed discussion. Centered, the text practically disappears and a fleeting, transient element is added, the words lose meaning but the ethereal nature of the ink fascinates like magic. Finally walking past, the text is illuminated, lighter than the paper, and one rereads the words in their shining angelic light with awe. The meaning of the words, a sort of discussion or argument, but more likely a self-contained thought process of a worried mind, is controlled by the relative light, ranging from melancholy to transcendent to insane and on.

1. What effects did you hope to evoke with the use of the reflective ink?
2. Where did the text come from?
3. How does this fit in with or set itself apart from the rest of your works in the gallery?

Fox Lodge-Travis Freeman

Travis Freeman
Fox Lodge

Four video projections on four walls:
Gene Wilder “Little Prince”
Masked procession
Man in wolf mask

I love the idea of creating a “private” space within a “public” space that can be used for “personal” gatherings. Thus privatizing a public environment.

I would enjoy sitting in the Wolf Lodge with a few of my friends, then discuss each of our experiences. Since each projection is different and each advantage point is different, each of our visual experiences would be different yet similar due to the ambience.

Some scenes of the video were over-exposed creating bright white visual experience. Too much light makes the images hard to see yet makes the experience of “seeing” feel pure, clean and stripped out.

April 12, 2009

General Comments on the MFA show by HRJ

Overall the MFA show at the Nash highlighted a group of innovative artists who have copiously explored their medium and crafted brilliant pieces that reflect themselves but also provoke an internal and external dialogue among viewers.

April 14, 2009

HRJ's reaction to Travis' MFA project

Subtle Physical Energy 2009
Travis’ final project took a huge risk, his art falls outside of the avant-garde into category of all its own. Perhaps, Travis’ work could be best described as: existential performance art. (Even though you are not physically present with the piece the imprinting of the energy lingers. The energy or intention is still performing. The end result is something that swelled up from the pages of science fiction or religious texts and into a gallery space.
This piece appeals to me because of my background being raised in two completely different paradigms of philosophy a traditional western linear thought and indigenous cyclic thinking. When I was engaged with the piece I found myself internally dueling with both facets of my belief system. Once my mind was silent, I was able to relax and engage with the piece.
Again, I want to state what Travis took a huge risk in developing and implementing his work. His work is well ahead of ahead of where people are in their development in the more metaphysical realm. I’d like to see how this piece would be received 5, 10, 15 + years down the road.
My next question to him is: what next? Where does his art grow and develop from here?

April 15, 2009

Toby Sisson

I appreciated Sisson's work most of all in the MFA Thesis show. Particular pieces that I liked were Submerged One and Two, and Temple. The interplay between flat depth and texture was very nice. The works were contemplative, encouraged as much by their titles as the works themselves. In considering all of Sisson's works it seems to me like there is a lot to do in the medium, and I wonder where and how far Sisson will take them. What inspirations does the artist draw from, is there a lineage that Sisson attempts to follow? Sissons work provoked me to dwell in front of the pieces, and to reflect on their nature.

April 20, 2009

Drawing by Galanos, Katinka - NASH

It was the "three easy pieces" how she titled all the three diagrams that was displayed at the Nash Gallery.
The first piece of hers wasnt a diagram but had a couple of lines which philosophically meant the interaction between objects and human being. The second piece which resembles Katinkas drawing out of her culture. I am not sure as to what that simple object meant but it was aN ancient Chinese broom or a hair piece that ancient Chinese men used to have. But then again I wouldnt restrict it to her vision but mine tells me as to what inspired her to do this. Such a piece is vague and symbolizes strength from something. The third piece was a something that had the impression of a book - couple of lines with the handwritten words "artz 5721" looked like as if a letter was written to someone as it had these words" For Annette and the moment" in the center. I like Katinkas specifically the three pieces for how simple they were , even though there were others of hers in the gallery very similar and unclear.

May 14, 2009

MFA Thesis Exhibition I and II by Anita Wallace

Call me old-fashioned, but I was disappointed in the MFA Thesis exhibition I for one main reason. Most, if not all, of the artists did not post an Artist's Statement or narrative for the cohesive whole of the body of work that they were presenting. Yes, we are all supposed to come to it fresh and interpret it in our own way. However, I think after spending three intensive years in the MFA program with studio practice in an academic research university I can at least expect a student to write a cohesive narrative of what their objectives were. I purchased the catalog hoping that I might find that in the slim turquoise volume. I did not. In fairness, in the catalog there were some of the artists that wrote about their goals and objectives. But, why could these not be printed out on a sheet of paper and posted as part of the exhibition? Why must a person have to purchase the volume to get a context for the work in a show that is open to the public? The second MFA exhibition had more Artists' Statements posted which I appreciated. Not everyone had them, which is a little disturbing, because one wishes to obtain more context and background (at least I do) when viewing an exhibition of work which is a culmination of a three year tenure in a program.

That said, I thought that there were many innovative and experimental things going on in the work of the graduate students in both exhibitions.

Travis Freeman: I had spoken to Travis about his work while working in the digital arts computer lab so I was excited to see how his metaphysical work would be presented in a physical space. Each of the experiential pieces toyed with space and time --I thought very successfully. I was wary to place myself into the experience of laying my head on the lap of a stranger. However, I believe that it was an experience of deciding not to do it and to question of myself why I made that decision. His work is very thought provoking--one conjures some sense of the Emperor's New Clothes narrative along with the truly philosophical artist participating in the present moment of fleeting time. His work left me wondering and questioning the physicality of art and the nature of the aesthetic experience. To me the key thing in work of this nature is the whole question of documentation: how and what to do about it; whether to do it. The transience of it feeds into my interest in the notion of the ephemeral and our desire to hold onto the physical when it is impossible, and our way of infusing value and meaning into physical things and our working and reworking of our own experience through memory and imagination.

Laura Corcoran-Mahnke: I was quite impressed with the prints and photographs of Laura Corcoran-Mahnke in the MFA Exhibition II. The two long mural like mono prints reminded me of Asian rice-paper screens with their intricate detail and mixture of natural and urban visual elements. The contrast of the birds with the telephone wires and skyscrapers which they encounter on their annual migrations reminded me of the film "Winged Migration" which I enjoyed very much. The execution of the prints was at an extremely high meticulous level and standard and I appreciate the effort, time, and skill that requires. I am interested in work that examines nature in the urban setting and brings into focus what we encounter and see in our everyday lives.