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2011-2013

NORA HOWELL

NORA HOWELL

performance based sculpture and video

Through performance based sculpture and video, I explore 'whiteness' and its unacknowledged existence by those who benefit from it most. I transition between communities where I am the racial majority and numerical minority, which challenges me to examine what it means to be white. My work utilizes fashion and cultural symbols such as white bread, crackers, marshmallows, Oreos, and mass media advertisements as an entry point into a topic that is historically difficult to approach. This language invites both white and non-white people to explore ‘whiteness.’ 

The performative and interactive aspect of mywork allows me to instigate dialogue, reflection, and action around the examination of both the positive and negative impact of whiteness in social realms.

I am committed to using art as a catalyst for conversation and social change a method of processing and articulating ideas.

SARAH KNOBEL

SARAH KNOBEL

tableau of pop culture

Utilizing a tableau of pop culture, my artwork is a stage that allows me to decipher individuality and the influence of the collective experience. More specifically, the work explores the disjunction between expectations and reality for women in early adulthood.

As Umberto Eco describes in Travels in Hyperreality, “visuals (cinema, videotape, mural, comic strip photograph) are apart of our memory” and the “experience (love, fear, or hope) is already filtered through ‘already seen’ images.” It would be hard for me not to acknowledge this within my own memories and personal expectations; everything I have experienced has been reinforced by the Western version. The extended reality of media, legends and social standards become instruments that create the symphony of discovering self, which makes it hard to distinguish what is authentic and what is simulated.

My process it to use myself, my own encounters and the ideas I have of human understanding to define the thin line where the collective cultural expectations are impossible to separate from the self. I approach my medium, photography and video, in a fashion that recognizes the staged presence.  Self-portraiture allows me to show the awareness of the camera and how in turn it constructs a relationship of creating identity.

My Future is Near is a new photo project that makes use of a technical process where what is imagined and desired can visually become defined. Using photographs, and magazines within a virtual space; I create a private urban haven where I reside peacefully among designer furniture and adorned by my beastly friends.

At first glance the work is falsely sweet, once the images are fully examined it is realized that my character is incapable of living in reality, but is also sadly alone. Although the work is currently in progress, it is my goal to demonstrate the conditions of modern society and the distorted perceptions that make it hard to distinguish the real from the unreal.

MATTHEW MANN

MATTHEW MANN

muddle pictorial hierarchies

By referencing fiction, myth, and contradiction within the history of images and image making, I muddle pictorial hierarchies, exploit the illogical, shifting meanings and contexts of art history in an effort to delay its linearity. My paintings deal with the intersection of pictorial strategies and visual perception, and the process of borrowing the antagonizing logic of images from film techniques, to cartoons, to illustrative painting. In this way I attempt to delay linearity long enough to open a pathway between viewers and my painting, which enables them to imagine within the paintings rather than see prescribed meaning and concepts.

JENNY MULLINS

JENNY MULLINS

a land derived from carnivals and candy wrappers

I am creating a land derived from carnivals and candy wrappers: a world of low-budget mysticism. It is consumable, disposable, and filled with the empty calories we crave.

Engaging in playful fashion with both American popular culture and a typically American concern with spirituality and everyday life, I create playfully irreverent hybrid works that integrate western and eastern culture.

My large scale and intricately rendered Thanka style watercolors feature scenes of dense Technicolor shrines.  The images draw on western traditions of still life painting to explore misunderstandings between eastern and western cultures, with Americans seeking spiritual satisfaction from eastern religion and related practices, and eastern countries seeking to attain the material trappings associated with the United States.  Populated by cheap, plastic detritus; Fanta cans, molding apple cores, incense burners and Starbucks cups all take their place under a quiet and unyielding army of ants and flies.

The result is an all American temple, a ‘do-it-yourself’ shrine, paying homage to the deeply human contradictions that pervade American culture.  At once, the work explores the Western adherence to Eastern spirituality while gently debunking the distinctly American idea that one can “find oneself” in exotic lands.


JOSHUA WADE SMITH

JOSHUA WADE SMITH

exhausted and sweating

My performances often leave my body exhausted and sweating, at a loss for words.

For my work, the body is a tool and the image begins to functions more like an object. It is not a thing to look at but a form to use. I run at, climb over, and cycle through images. The goal is to see and to see myself seeing. Built into the work is a desire to share the language of the body generated by my athletic challenges. The actions are often built on and framed around encounters with the visual: climbing a ladder around the horizon line, repeatedly scaling a portable mountain, cycling for hours with my eyes staring back at me, while I read an adventurer’s tale.

The restless movement of these objects becomes the performance, the action and duration are set by the limits of the image, of what I think is possible.