Kate Casanova, Daniel Dean, and Ben Moren, Green Screen
Guess Ready Review, a new collaborative group of artists assembled by City Pages' 2012 Artist of the Year Kate Casanova, reveals a glimpse of what they've been up to in an exhibit currently on view at Kolman & Pryor Gallery. The public reception for the exhibition is this Saturday.
Christopher Atkins, Untitled (Day-Glo Green)
Casanova says that the Guess Ready Review formed when she invited 10 artists to attend a residency program last summer up on Mallard Island on Rice Lake, near the border of Canada. "It's on a little island, and you apply with a group of people to stay on the island for a week," she says. Although it was the first time Casanova arranged for a residency with the group, she actually was familiar with the place because her mother, children's author Mary Casanova, had been doing her own residency each year with a group of writers for the past 20 years. "It's always been a place that is a part of my history," she says.
Last summer, the residency "was loosely organized as far as what everybody did art-wise," Casanova says. During the day, people would work on their own projects, and then gather later to cook together and share things that they were working on. In the evening, the artists also had an opportunity to work on collaborative projects.
For her part, Casanova collaborated with artists Ben Moren and Daniel Dean. "Essentially, it is a piece that plays on ideas of what is real and what is natural in representations of nature," she says. In the work, the viewer sees a TV monitor that has an image of a natural landscape. When they walk around the wall, they see in reality it is a live video feed of a diorama of the landscape. The piece is "combining digital media and diorama technologies to create the illusion of a real nature through forms we are familiar with," Casanova says.
Chris Koza "In Real Time"
The trio premiered the work in Beijing in October as part of the Beijing New Media Triennial, a Beijing Film Academy program. Traveling with minimal supplies, they constructed the installation on site. "Sending this work was very timely considering they are in the midst of an ecological crisis and coming to terms with how they view the natural world and how that is changing at a rapid pace," Casanova says. The Minnesota version of the piece is now part of the exhibition at Kolman & Pryor.
Casanova will also be showing a collage and a sculpture, both of which reference human hair, as well as a video piece she made while on the island, which City Pages previously wrote about
when it was shown at Gallery 122.
The Guess Ready Review exhibition includes individual work by each of the 10 artists who are part of the collective, including Casanova's husband, musician Chris Koza, who will be performing at the opening reception along with Will Hutchinson. The other artists include compatriots from Casanova's MFA program at the University of Minnesota, as well as a few other hand-picked like-minded people "who had an affinity with the natural world and who appreciated a collaborative environment," she says.
Among the artists is MAEP coordinator Christopher Atkins, who will be showing some of his photography; Macalester professor John Kim, who does lot of writing about new media but doesn't exhibit frequently at the moment; and Laura Bigger, who will be showing her maps of edible foods found on Mallard Island. There will also be work exhibited from John Fleischer, Ben Moren, Daniel Dean, and Stefanie Motta.
Casanova says showing pieces from the group at Kolman & Pryor seemed like the perfect opportunity. "A lot of work might not necessarily be shown together," she says. "It's an opportunity to bring together unique voices, and have a show that reflects our experience but also is not constrained just to the island. It allows us to show things we've been making since that time."
Besides the music played by Koza and Hutchinson, Stephanie Motta will be giving tarot readers throughout the evening, as she did for all the artists while they were up on the island.
"Guess Ready Review"
Through April 12
Opening reception 7-10 p.m Saturday, March 8
Studio 395, Northrup King Building
On Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m., Kolman & Pryor Gallery will host a free public conversation between Dr. Christina Schmid, assistant professor of art at the University of Minnesota and the Guess Ready Review Collaborative.