Kate Casanova and Areca Roe at Gallery 122

Kate Casanova and Areca Roe at Gallery 122
Railroad by Areca Roe

An exhibit featuring the work of two exciting young talents, Kate Casanova and Areca Roe, opened last weekend at Gallery 122 at Hang-It. "Terra Nova" gives a taste of what each artist, both graduates of the University of Minnesota MFA program, have been up to lately. Casanova's profile has gone national as of late, with two of her short videos traveling with Station to Station. During the Minneapolis stop of the tour, she also showed off her amazing mushroom car. Areca Roe, meanwhile, won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant last year, and had a wonderful show at SooVAC last summer.

See also:
Areca Roe's 'Habitat' at SooVAC
2012 Artists of the Year (Kate Casanova)

Kate Casanova and Areca Roe at Gallery 122
Pond by Kate Casanova
For "Terra Nova," Casanova continues her experiments in biology and art with works like Pond, a piece made of algae, glass, and water. The glass sits upside down on a shelf, with a clump of algae floating serenely near the bottom of the glass, which is pointing toward the ceiling. It's not immediately clear how Casanova got the water and the algae to stay in the cup. The best answer, like many Casanova works, is magic. 

Casanova includes several mixed-media collages in the show. Orange Crush is made from what seems to be two photographs cut up into strips and arranged alternately. Both of the photographs feature organic-looking orange material, with one having a rock-like texture and the other of some kind of sea plant. 

There's also the fascinating piece, called Pendulum, where a metal pendulum is hung in the air by long braided strands of hair. 

Casanova's short video Bird Songs of Mallard Island pokes fun at the practice of birding while simultaneously standing in awe of the magnificent beauty of the sounds that birds make. The video shows footage taken from various wooded areas, with still wide shots. For each scene, there's a voiceover of a person attempting to make a bird call verbatim from the instructions of a book called A Guide to Bird Songs written by Aretas Saunders in 1951. The guidebook sits on a table below the screen, with helpful bookmarks for each call. It's quite funny to listen to the voiceovers as they put Saunders's specific instructions into practice, complete with inflections shown by the writer's diagrams. 

Meanwhile Areca Roe presents a series of photographs taken from her "Oh Pioneer" series, which was inspired by the work of Western photographers of the late 1800s. The photographs have a majestic "Oh beautiful for spacious skies" feel to them, despite the fact that they are obviously made in miniature with tiny toy people and trains and tents placed in a landscape created by plush fur-like material. The synthetic quality of the soft material stands in contrast with the scenes of "nature," perhaps making a comment on manifest destiny itself, and how so many of our continent's greatest views and scenic places have made way for industry and development. 


"Terra Nova"
Through November 16
Gallery 122 at Hang-It
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

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Gallery 122 At Hang It

122 8th St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414


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