posted by – 08/31/13 @ 12:38pm
This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Jerusalem and visit the fine arts wing of the Israel Museum. Among the contemporary art in the gallery, I was most drawn to Adi Nes’ oversized, cinematic, and impressively detailed photographs. In a country rife with religious dramas, Nes constructs scenes that use biblical symbolism to provide a social commentary of Israeli politics. One of his most striking photographs, “Last Supper,” features modern day Israeli soldiers posed as Jesus and his disciples as da Vinci famously painted them during the Renaissance. In Israel, I often saw young soldiers patrolling checkpoints and carrying large guns. Seeing “Last Summer” made me think about their role in Israel as both a saving Jesus figure and violent Judas figure. It also made me think about the soldiers’ vulnerability – Nes created the photo knowing that for soldiers in a war zone, any meal may be their last. Nes says,
“I wanted to show the person behind the soldier, his vulnerability and fragility. I wanted to show that the moment one puts on a uniform, one cuts a contract which includes the potential of death, and adopts the accompanying fear.”
Adi Nes’ photographs also address sexual culture and identity. As a member of the LGBT community, Nes is interested in the contrasting stances on homosexuality in Israel. Israel houses many religious communities that express hostility towards homosexuality. At the same time, Tel Aviv is considered one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world. The Israeli government has backed many LGBT rights initiatives, but social conservatives maintain a strong presence in their parliament. In his soldier series, Nes photographs Israeli soldiers who appear both hyper-masculine and homoerotic. He explores what it means to be masculine and what it means to be gay, subverting commonly held notions about both characteristics. Ultimately he seeks to uncover a universal humanism beyond barriers that divide us, such as national or sexual identity. With so much commentary about the turbulence in the Middle East, Nes provides a thought-provoking perspective that only an artist could achieve.
posted by – 08/29/13 @ 2:30pm
I’m interested in art that is innovative, exciting, and unexpected. So naturally, I’m intrigued by Portlandian artist Alexis Gideon. His newest work, Floating Oceans, is the third installment in his stop-motion animation video opera series Video Musics. Floating Oceans tells the story of a poet whose colorful dreams contrast with his pedestrian, routine-filled life. The film alone is engaging, but the most interesting aspect of Gideon’s work are his live performances. During live screenings, Gideon voices the narration and dialogue of the film, expertly synching his voice with the characters’ lip movements. Live musical accompaniment, featuring music composed by Gideon, further enhances the viewing experience.
Combing various traditions of film, puppetry, music, narrative, and performance in one piece, Gideon uses both “highbrow” and “lowbrow” art forms to explore issues of class and the human experience. Gideon says:
“I am primarily interested in commonalities in the human experience and human expression. Since so much of art and culture has become fragmented and compartmentalized, breaking down barriers of style and medium has become paramount to my work.”
Alexis Gideon will come to Tinney Contemporary for a special performance this upcoming Fall. To watch a trailer for Floating Oceans and learn more about Gideon’s artwork, go here.
posted by – 08/28/13 @ 2:40pm
Over the summer, I stepped out of Tinney during one of our art crawls and headed across the street to peruse the galleries of the Arcade. To my surprise, I found a former friend of mine was showing in Coop Curatorial Collective’s space. Having taken a course on contemporary art together that previous semester, I was not so much surprised that he was occupying this space; however, I was intrigued to discover that his method of art-making was quite unexpected. Nearly unprecedented at the First Saturday Art Crawl, my friend was exhibiting a conceptual performance piece in which the audience was invited to interact with the artist. This collaboration, in turn, resulted in an omnipresent, yet intangible “art object”.
DeLesslin George-Warren, "(803) 323 - 7638", 2013
This experience, in combination with Marina Abramović’s recent establishment of an institute for the study of long-duration performance art, has enticed me to explore the role of this practice within the creative zeitgeist of contemporary art.
Performance art arose in the early 1970s as a general term for a multitude of activities—including happenings , body art, actions, events, and guerrilla theatre. It embraces a wide diversity of styles. Although it is often recorded on video and by means of still photography, this time-based medium and is usually presented to an audience or onlookers causes it to be classified as an event, rather than a traditional art ‘artifact’. In the 1970s and 1980s, performance art ranged from Laurie Anderson ’s elaborate media spectacles, Carolee Schneeman’s body ritual, the camp glamour of the collective known as General Idea, and Joseph Beuys ’s illustrated lectures. In the 1990s it encompassed Ron Athey’s AIDS activism to Orlan’s use of cosmetic surgery on her own body. And now, in the early 21st century, Marina Abramović rekindled a great interest in the medium through her re-creation of historical pieces at MoMA. The important status of performance art in the contemporary Art World reflects the ever-expanding and all-encompassing nature of that which society is willing to define as art.
Marina Abramović, "The Artist is Present", 2010
posted by – 08/27/13 @ 1:50pm
This past June, a group of distinguished scientists and artists embarked on an expedition of the Pacific Ocean along Alaska’s coastline. Together they explored, documented, and cleared away plastic pollution in the ocean. They travelled through the floating islands of trash that contaminate our oceans and endanger marine life. Throughout the expedition, the artists – including Tinney’s own Pam Longobardi – created art from the heaps of trash they encountered. Their works explore the relationship between humans and the ocean in our contemporary context of high consumption. They highlight an environmental problem that most people would otherwise never encounter or consider. Pam Longobardi says:
“It’s one hope of the expedition to pose a model for cooperation, creative problem solving, and inspiration to action. Plastic production and waste may be the most important issue facing humans right now because it is the hidden part of every other problem: global warming, depleted oil reserves, offshore drilling, rampant consumption, wasted resources, ocean poisoning, food toxification…Art has a important role to play in communicating the visual, intellectual and emotional message about the world we are now entering in the Anthropocene—the new geologic era marked by human change to the physical earth.” (Source)
The exhibition will show at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska from February – September 2014. Following September, the show will travel across the US. To learn more about the Gyre exhibit, go here. For those of us who can’t wait, the National Geographic film Gyre: Creating Art from a Plastic Ocean documents their journey. Click here to watch the short film.
posted by – 08/16/13 @ 2:36pm
As a part of our show with Stefany Hemming, we also will be having artist Mary Addison Hackett in the back gallery with the latest works from her series Shell Game. On her website she writes:
In Shell Game, I revisit my relationship with abstraction by incorporating invented flora, patterns lifted from family heirlooms, and carefully constructed layers that shift slightly in color when viewed from different angles. Before studio hours, I had a meditation practice. During studio hours I listened to mashups. In between, I walked the dog and did housework; saw a movie or read a book; took a motorcycle ride and did some yoga or ran. There were a few storms. Trees went down. On and on.
Her colorful and whimsical paintings are a beautiful addition to our gallery and a nice continuation of Patricia Bellan-Gillen’s brightly colored affect on Tinney’s space. To read an old interview with Mary Addison Hackett where she discusses her inspirations and her processes done by Studio Critical, you can go here.
posted by – 08/14/13 @ 10:50am
The upcoming show, to be installed for August 24th, exhibits Stefany Hemming’s latest series titled Holding Pattern. These large oil on panel paintings are done under a rigid set of rules laid out by the artist for her process. In her own words:
“The nest represents an activity which has sublime purpose. It is also merely an empty object which may have exhausted its use. This dichotomy is relevant to the practice of painting and the scrutiny it has endured…
I work within a strict set of formal parameters: one tool, one layer of paint and one limited block of time. In this intense and gestural process, spontaneous movements or raw actions occur. Awkward, elegant, clumsy, confident, all marks inform the work and all have equal importance. Accepting every mark made, nothing is re-worked, painted over or shaded. Some of the concerns that dominate my work are deception, vitality, trust, loss, aging, and lust.
This body of work is an exploration of painting as an obsessive, ritualistic, instinctive practice which embodies all the contingency, uncertainty and instability of the real. It promotes painting as documentation of the intangible, evidence of one’s humanity.” – Stefany Hemming
Learn more about Stefany Hemming’s work by checking out our profile of her over at the artists page, and check our tumblr for ongoing information!
posted by – 08/06/13 @ 2:43pm
We Are Nashville. We love to shop, eat, and explore all things local. So, why not expand your local pride to art? Community-Supported Art Nashville offers just that. This art subscription service asks shareholders to invest directly in the arts community with a “buy local” mentality. The program not only offers a reasonably priced way to support Nashville and regional artists, but shareholders also receive limited edition contemporary artist projects in return. The catch? After you purchase a CSArt art share, you don’t know exactly what is going to come in your box until you pick it up! If that worries you, after 3 months, you may exchange it for another CSArtwork.
CSArt Nashville is an opportunity for collectors to access exclusive editions of their work at an affordable price. With different options of subscription pricing, Nashvillians can expand their artistic horizons without even leaving the 615.
Ranging from emerging to mid-career, participating artists have exhibited in museums and galleries nationally and internationally. A full list of artists and more information can be found on the Community-Supported Art Nashville’s website.