Friday, November 9, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
This Saturday, the Soo Visual Arts Center opens its "9th Annual Juried Exhibition."
The show features an eclectic mix of photography, collage, video, drawings, and installation curated by University of Minnesota assistant professor Chris Larson. The work in "Untitled 9" can be seen in some curious spaces -- a broom closet, the crawl space behind walls, in the office -- and all of the pieces have a sense of camouflage and transformation.
"Through a quiet sense of natural wonder," writes Larson on SooVAC's website
, "13 artists noiselessly manipulate, cut, dissect, blur, and disintegrate architecture, bodies, and the landscape. Murmuring." Indeed, while the art varies in genre and style, Larson has put together a collection of work that is shifting and hidden.
The most notable example is an installation by Leslie Kelman, on display in the crawl space between two walls. You can only see it if you peek your head in through the broom closet, or look in through a window on the side of the building. It's meant to be uncomfortable, says SooVAC executive director Carolyn Payne, and explores both an unusable domestic space and an unusable industrial space.
There's also an installation by Sean Connaughty, built in a space that used to be a closet. A wall has been built over it, with a window that allows you to look into an aquarium. Inside the aquarium are concrete floats with plants inside of them. It's rather space agey, and like much of Connaughty's work, uses natural and living materials to create a world that is both alive and strange.
Then there's Rachel Breen's interesting piece of copper. It's covered up with black paper which has been torn and has holes poked all over it, creating a pattern. The copper shimmers through, glowing, a hidden source of light.
There are a couple of video pieces in the show, including a work by Timothy Barnes that includes footage of a window drape set to Kenny G music, and Sara Wichterman's video about humans and fire.
A number of pieces in the show deal with architectural forms. Matthew Yaeger's wall construction looks like a fort made of wood, paper, plastic, and other miscellaneous items. It's a kind of skyscraper made of random materials that look as if they could have been accidentally assembled that way. Matthew Winkler also has an architectural type of piece made of paper folded and cut in an intricate pattern that creates wonderful shadows on the wall. Noel Worden's photograph, and Jesse Drexler's M.C. Escher-like collage also deal with architecture and the idea of a thing not being exactly what it seems.
Other artists featured in the exhibit include mixed-media work by Mary Bergs, photography by Monica Howell and Joseph Kaercher, and Haley Prochnow's very interesting collage work.