ArtPrize Nine is still three weeks away, but if you want a sneak peek, Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University opens its “Society of Spectacle” exhibit today.
The exhibit, housed at The Fed Galleries, includes six internationally recognized artists, all competing in this year’s ArtPrize competition.
“This exhibition asks us to consider ways in which authentic experiences are being replaced by representations of authentic experiences,” said Michele Bosak, KCAD curator of exhibitions. “From news media and social media to films, television, music and more, we are being constantly bombarded with media from all directions; the question is, how is that affecting our ability to think critically about the society we’re living in?”
Bosak added, “We’re excited to see how ArtPrize viewers will react to the far-reaching multisensory experience this exhibition provides.”
Bosak will give a curator talk on Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. and on Sept. 21, artist Jonathan Brilliant will give a gallery talk from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
Society of Spectacle runs through Oct. 14. For more information, visit kcad.edu/galleries.
Artists featured in “Society of Spectacle” include:
Time-Based (Vote Code: 65289)
Brazilian-born artist Eva Rocha is making her mark with visually haunting work that highlights some of modern society’s ugliest realities. “Object-Orientalis” projects shimmering, huddled female forms into stark wooden shipping crates, connecting our tendency to objectify human (often female) bodies to our apathy about pressing social issues such as human trafficking.
“Brilliant Does ArtPrize”
Time-Based (Vote Code: 65572)
Two-time ArtPrize participant Jonathan Brilliant returns to Grand Rapids with his most “audacious and far-reaching” project yet. With “Brilliant Does ArtPrize,” Brilliant aims to reframe the conversation around contemporary art as fun, active, open and inclusive by going out into the streets of Grand Rapids and engaging ArtPrize viewers in a variety of unexpected ways.
Those encountering Brilliant may find themselves involved in impromptu conversations about contemporary art. Or, they may find themselves contestants on a mock game show that epitomizes ArtPrize’s spirit of exploration and inquiry into what art is and why it matters.
“DAY for NIGHT”
Time-Based (Vote Code: 65564)
Canadian artist John Naccarato brings his work at the intersection of augmented reality technology and art to ArtPrize Nine with “DAY for NIGHT.” The interactive piece brings the experience off of the gallery wall and into the city at-large, inviting users to create their own unique fictional narratives using a free mobile app that generates narrative elements based upon users’ GPS location.
As users explore ArtPrize, they’ll encounter new layers of the narrative and supporting augmented images, audio recordings and text, forming a rich sensory experience that both questions and revels in future possibilities for human-technological interaction.
Time-Based (Vote Code: 65904)
New York-based artist Le’Andra LeSeur’s piece “Searching” deconstructs the media’s portrayal of police brutality and questions how our memories shift and shape future experiences. Through silent “video portraits” of African Americans, LeSeur challenges viewers to contemplate how different people are portrayed in news and social media, causing them to come to terms with their own experiences and perceptions as they relate to those portrayals.
“YOU BELONG TO ME”
Time-Based (Vote Code: 66157)
In “YOU BELONG TO ME,” a single female figure is projected through curtains of pink fringe, lip synching the original lyrics from 50s doo wop hit, “You belong to Me,” as a looping performance, with the sound slowed down so the original female vocal deepens in pitch and becomes androgenized. The piece addresses gendered social conditioning by using video and sound to illustrate how repetition and standardization can solidify power structures.
Liss LaFleur is among leading LGBTQ artists who are using their work to investigate and stimulate dialogue around the fluidity of gender and identity. Based in Texas, LaFleur was nominated for the prestigious Lumen Prize in 2016, and was part of the Ford Foundation-funded OUT FOR CHANGE initiative at MIT Media Lab that explored transmedia activism.
Installation (Vote Code: 65907)
Ohio-based artist Zane Miller’s “Two-way Protocols” is an interactive installation comprised of two large suspended cubes constructed with two-way mirror. Viewers enter the interior of the cubes and encounter a repetitive, mirrored environment that is spacious, isolated and ephemeral.
The interactive piece aims to enforce the contrast between perceptual and physical experience of space, tapping into conversations surrounding self-awareness, public vs. private space, and voyeurism, which are all central components of culture in the 21st century.
*Main photo courtesy of Lisa LaFleur