Posts Tagged ‘Installation’

Placemakers, at the Bemis Center for Arts gathers work by Anne Lindberg, Letha Wilson, Quyhn Vantu, Jason Manley and other artists “artists engaged in interventionist and transformative acts that make places.”  On view until March 31, 2012.

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Judy Pfaff at Bruno David Gallery.

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Danielle Riede.

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Michael Velliquette.

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So we’ve been really curious about the HUB project that is going on in Bloomington.  Betsy Stirratt, director of the SOFA Gallery at Indiana University was kind (outstandingly kind) enough to provide some in-depth answers to questions I had about the project.  HUB appears to be an exhibit that is free to get up and leave the gallery.  It is contained in 26′ trucks and can travel, ready to be reexamined and transformed at every opportunity.  Stirratt says that transformation is the central theme of HUB.  It’s also intended to make contemporary art more physically accessible.  HUB Phase II opens in Bloomington Friday, October 3, 2008.  Here is what Stirratt had to tell us:

A stated goal of the HUB project is “longevity”.  Are you able to expand on that?

The HUB project is experimental in that it will continue to travel to new places in new configurations with work by new artists as long as the HUB Collective is able to take it on the road. While HUB Phase I existed solely in the gallery space, HUB Phase II will be the transition outside to a more mobile and accessible art viewing experience. And I suppose HUB Phase III will be the mobile shows in other locations.

HUB came into existence when three MFA sculpture students at IU Bloomington, Derek Parker, Jonathan Dankenbring, and LaRinda Meinburg, were interested in questioning the traditional gallery space as the ideal place to exhibit art.  They were concerned with the fact that the “Art Gallery” tends to be an
exclusive space that is not welcoming and many people are intimidated and uncomfortable visiting art galleries.

They began to collaborate with Rob Off, the Associate Director at the SoFA Gallery, to design and build the large scale HUB platform. The advantage of taking art out of the gallery space is it immediately puts it into a context that is more neutral and more accessible to a wider audience. Traditional exhibit experiences can be very positive, but I have found that we [as Americans] are lacking the advantage of exhibiting in public places that are often found in Europe, and in the States we still very much compartmentalize the visual arts to specific spaces and contexts. With HUB, we hope that the experience will transcend the usual art viewing experience.

And speaking from experience, the SoFA Gallery is often criticized that we are hard to get to, people can’t park, etc. so this immediately takes that particular excuse out of the equation. This is an accessible location, and format open to all.

Another stated goal is that HUB could be “utilized by other artists”.  Again, is that something you could expand on?

The plan is the HUB project will travel to other locations and will incorporate the work of artists in those areas within the truck exhibiting spaces. Initially the plan is to contact artists and alternative spaces in
surrounding cities, like Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Chicago.  The HUB Collective will need help locating artists and places for the HUB to be installed. The whole installation is quite large, with 5 26′ trucks backed up to a single large platform that includes a stairway. So it has to be located in the right area.

The reason the HUB Group is interested in making this opportunity available to other artists is that it is the natural progression for the alternative gallery space. In addition, the artists are interested in population, and the transient nature of it. Particularly in a university town, there is very little stability-very few people settle down.

Here is a quote from LaRinda Meinburg:”My hope for the project is that it doesn’t end here,” said Meinburg. “HUB is like a combination of a travel mug and IKEA flat-pack furniture: just set up anywhere there’s room. The idea isn’t for us to always have a place to show work; people can contact us, and they can use it to create their own exhibition space. We want it to go beyond us.”

Can someone explain or describe a specific artwork in the project and how it functions?

Rob Off’s work is really about his personal interest in an increasingly transient population. “I’ve been in Bloomington four years, and that’s the longest I’ve been in any place,” Off said. “A lot of what I make is
collapsible and transportable. It has to be able to squish down to fit in the back of a truck or storage space.” Off will transform his moving truck to display his version of a sustainable living space: a plastic bubble.

LaRinda Meinburg, said her work was inspired by the idea of the moving truck. “Moving trucks made me think of people moving from old homes into new homes, which brought my thoughts to urban sprawl,” she said. “I have created mold-like objects made out of phone books and positioned them on a map interpretation,” said Meinburg, who is showing one piece at HUB Phase I and adding prints to accompany the piece for HUB II.

Are the themes of sprawl/living space/consumer design integral to the larger HUB project or is it possible that other artists utilizing the project could adapt it to their own means?

Overall, the show’s unifying theme is transformation. This exhibition takes on an anthropological role, with installations that explore urban sprawl, the definition of living space, consumer design and the collective
unconscious. Ideas about the transient nature of contemporary life are definitely part of this. The concept is completely adaptable: what is cool about it is the truck exhibit spaces are completely neutral and artists can
bring in all kinds of different ideas into the mix.

If other artists want to be involved, or other spaces wish to take part in the project, how can that be made to happen?

We are hoping that several contacts that we have made with artists/groups in the cities we¹ve mentioned might want to get involved. If artists are interested, they can contact the SoFA Gallery at sofa@indiana.edu and we will forward your information to the HUB Group.


Thank you!  This project is really exciting to me. 

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We posted an image from Jane Barrow’s exhibit Air to Air in January.  Earlier this month, the artist left a comment here stating that while the exhibit was a real turning point for her, it has also been  a cause for frustration.  Barrow had been making decent-sized abstract oil on canvas paintings, but, disturbed by the continuing war in Iraq, decided to experiment with forms, scale and materials in  way that would allow direct address of the situation in Iraq.  Here’s a link to the earlier post.


I know that a lot of you reading this are deeply aware and engaged with these same things.  And, I know that those of you who make art, who write, curate, etc. make decisions regarding how directly or indirectly you approach your concerns about current events in your own work.  So, after the cut, more images of Jane Barrow’s work and a chance to, please, share your thoughts. (more…)

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Julian Santa-Rita

If y’all will allow me an above-average dose of blog/scene nepotism (is that what it is?):

On May 8, Art Amiss’s 8th installment took place in Fayetteville’s Dickson Theater (info on Art Amiss, the multidisciplinary one-night art show collective/party here). One of my favorite pieces in the show was Inphysiblog, an installation by Fayetteville’s Julian Santa-Rita. The piece is a flexible-scaled series of sewn-together stamp collecting envelopes, filled with images from Julian’s computer, printed pages of a travel journal, and other goodies. Nearby was a semi-old-fashioned scriber tool, which viewers-turned-contributors used to write thoughts for the Inphysiblog. The whole thing was suspended on the wall by computer wires.

Detail shot after the cut (click it to see the full-size file).


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