Friday, July 1, 2011
"...we are the primary instigators of our own art experience. This also makes us cultural vagrants of sorts."
My curator's statement for the upcoming show, Asynchronous Salon:
Herron School of Art & Design
August 3 – 26, 2011
Artists Reception: August 26, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Opening Event: August 3, 5:00 - 7:00
Independent artists are creating pockets of meaningful dialogue across the internet. They make art which continues the tradition of individual artistic discovery, and they post their findings on personal art blogs. These artists are quite familiar with current art considerations, and their work and their conversations reflect these broader concerns. They also quite relentlessly follow their own art intrigues. As blog hosts they create 21st century art salons, where they and their guests use new media to find and develop vibrant, interlinking art communities.
Asynchronous Salon brings together one such pocket of blogging artists. I have invited Mary Addison Hackett, Steven LaRose, and Nomi Lubin to join me in this show at my alma mater, Herron School of Art & Design. I have been art blog buddies with each for a few years now, and while we have not all met in person, I felt a deep desire to see our work together. It seems relevant to have this dialogue show at an art institution, where many of us first experienced these supportive relationships with fellow artists, albeit through traditional time and space parameters.
My enthusiasm for the work these artists produce is intertwined with my strong personal affinity towards each as an individual. Our art shares certain similarities, though they tend to reflect parallel coincidences more than direct influence. These often occur as an after-the-fact recognition, or as a vague sense of familiarity. When Nomi pushes round shapes to their most ludicrous physical limits, or when she negotiates coyly with visual logic, I feel kin instincts. I'd like to stage a battle between Steven's halfway-incarnated creatures and my own. I'd also like to adopt his fluid approach to painting. Mary Addison's abstractions are visually complex layerings, which echo a common tendency amongst this group, to steer hard towards the incomprehensible. Her more figurative work poignantly grasps life's transitions. As a group the work is similar formally. The color palettes, object shapes, scale, size, wry wit, and density of surface all cavort within a certain tactile range. This sets up an interesting tension for the show....a battle-dance perhaps.
As our separate artist statements reveal, we each share a strong desire to form or find meaning from unknown places of the imagination; we are the primary instigators of our own art experience. This also makes us cultural vagrants of sorts. The individual artistic meander is often a difficult process to justify; to one's community, and even to oneself. It's very inspiring to encounter artists who make this leap of faith without compromise. I believe these artistic investigations matter. I believe it is an integral part of being human, and must continue, regardless of how our means for making and sharing may change.
Asynchronous Salon is one small group show of art, but it also suggests a possible framework for self-determination within the arts community. We can use our media technologies to find and create intimate environments. We can foster and share our most profound thoughts and discoveries. We can bypass institutionalized arts programming and cultural management, and can instead foster authentic dialogues. We can form communities of individuals who celebrate in each others' freaking amazing discoveries.
- Carla Knopp, curator 6-20-11