An Archive of Crit Night with Archive Collective

Archive Collective hosted their fifth Crit Night at Kiosk Gallery on Thursday September 3, 2015. This Crit Night was for the artists to get feedback on works in progress and in this way, see what is working and what needs to be reassessed. There was a larger turnout than was expected, making for a slightly crowded and very warm environment. Despite that, there was a good atmosphere geared towards critique within the framework of photography.

Guest Moderator Melaney Mitchell image courtesy of Archive Collective

Guest Moderator Melaney Mitchell in front of the work of Kat Richards at Kiosk Gallery image courtesy of Archive Collective

Kat Richards, printmaking senior at KU, presented her work as primarily dealing with the drag culture, virtual presence, and identity. Although there were some elements that were working, there was much room for improvement. One issue with the photographs was the language she used to describe her concepts. Many of the words she used were problematic towards the queer/ drag community. Not only was she using models who are not part of drag culture, but she also put herself in drag, using it as a costume. Participants in the critique thought Richards was not taking into consideration the potentially negative implications of this type of portrayal. Her lack of research in conceptual approach ended up opening different discussions she was not prepared to address. This was a large topic of discussion for the overall body of work.

Richards use of photography -in technical terms-was problematic.  the works presented were decent, well lit, subjects in focus, but the glossy finish on the prints reflected the overhead lights. The colors she chose for the background of the two gender centric studio portraits – pink and blue – were an obvious choice and did nothing to for her already questionable concepts. To be fair, she was attempting to achieve the cinematic. The audience discussion was largely about problematic ideas on gender identity. One of the attendees, Donut, commented on how Richards’ idea of what the work was about did not come across because of how directly they mimicked aesthetics the queer community. It seemed to be that Richards had not taken into consideration many of the points that were brought up so hopefully this critique works to her favor moving forward.

This critique could have been better balanced between the two bodies of work and spent more time discussing the photographs that dealt more with value within the virtual realm and strange object phenomena. These seemed to have potential for further exploration. Her use of color and the objects within her constructed spaces alluded internet culture and virtual space and presence. Whether intentional or not, certain objects she included were referential to American culture as well and I felt that could compliment her other interests well also, given she researches more in depth.

Emma Provin and Critique Night guests image courtesy of Archive Collective

Emma Porvin and Critique Night guests at Kiosk Gallery image courtesy of Archive Collective

Second to present was Emma Provin, who was projecting a short film. Her piece, Agnes Cannibale, featured Agnes, whose body is having a negative reaction to the human meat she has been ingesting. Strong female lead characters are not often seen within the context of the horror genre. Provin managed to use this atypical narrative through execution.  The film was shot and edited handsomely; the framing throughout the entire length was consistent in its intentions and correlated nicely with the overall concept. The tension built by not seeing Agnes’ face, and instead just her hand gestures, kept the audience engaged with the character. At the end, this payed off by finally revealing an entirely different dimension of self mutilation. Overall, the environment Provin created was appealing and counterbalanced the grotesque implications.

The conversation revolved a lot around the main character and her persona. The one point that was discussed, a bit too extensively, was the sound throughout the film. Fellow Crit Night participants felt the sound was too low, even when scenes were functioning properly silent. The music also surfaced comments on the time setting and the contrast between the chosen aesthetics of Agnes’ old fashioned space and her modern objects. This played into the conversation surrounding her persona and the way in which the juxtaposing of these two served as a way to confirm assumptions made by the audience about the character.

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Crit Night Group discussing the work of Dustin Downey at Kiosk Gallery image courtesy of Archive Collective

Last to present work was Dustin Downey. Primarily an installation based artist, Downey showed photographs that were meant to serve as documentation of installations. His work explores the relationship between light, space, and form. However, instead of providing the viewer with simulation of those installations they left much to be uncovered. That physical presence of light in space was unfortunately not translated through the photographs. Many of the prints were too dark, abstracting the space from the image entirely. Downey’s documentation of his installations seemed to be referencing Dan Flavin’s fluorescent works in the way the light source is supposed interact with the space. Flavin’s documentation of his installations can double as artwork themselves because they consider the medium they are being translated through instead of simulating the experience. Downey’s work did not evoke any sense of presence or spatial depth instead the contrast ratio of the photos made the spaces ambiguous.

By the end of the night, all three artists were able to hear the reception of their work from a small but diverse audience. Each artist received constructive suggestions for ways to improve or reevaluate the directions of their work.

 




Surprise Ceramics in A Tisket A Tasket at Front/Space

A Tisket A Tasket at Front/Space image by Timothy Amundson

Kansas City is about to host National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) a conference that works to engage a community for ceramic art, teaching, and learning.  NCECA is a convergence of the gatekeepers in the national ceramics community. These exhibitions were priming the showcase of local and national artists working within the confines of fine art ceramics, with some breaking those rules completely. As a medium, ceramics has had a tough time with this distinction between fine art and craft. Some relegate the medium entirely to an idea of elaborate plates, cups, or beautiful decorative objects but nothing more. This of course is a myopic viewpoint that doesn’t usually allow for alternative forms to be explored. A Tisket A Tasket is one exploration of how contemporary ceramics can confront this conceptual void and pull us towards a larger conversation about the way we interact with contemporary art as a whole.

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A Tisket A Tasket at Front/Space image by Timothy Amundson

Front/Space is a very small two-hundred-square-foot storefront on the west end of the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District. Bringing the street line in through its massive windows, the audience was seen exploring from both sides of the glass. A Tisket A Tasket filled every corner of the space with variably sized crudely taped rectangular cardboard boxes, these nod to the traditional display of ceramic objects, on perfectly crafted white pedestals. The work itself by artists Charity Thackston and Julia Six was a combination of both ceramic, and found objects that created a sampling and repeat of what would be found in a teenage girl’s bedroom. Ceramic alarm clocks grounded space on the pedestals also taken up by painted books, altered found postcards, a peppering of ceramic White-Out bottles, mixtapes, and miniature high school composition notebooks. In the moment of First Friday, I noticed there were already gallery patrons touching the work on the pedestal, normally ceramic work may serve as functional but never touched in a gallery. This exhibition only had four instructions for the viewer; ‘look, listen, pay attention, and choose!’ written on the gallery walls.

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A Tisket A Tasket at Front/Space image by Timothy Amundson

When I walked into the exhibition space Cindy Lauper’s Time After Time was echoing over a bluetooth speaker set in the ceiling. I kept exploring the show, opening the notebooks scattered about the floor and pedestals, picking up the multicolored ceramic mixtapes and feeling a little bummed about how these non functional objects reference a media format now starting to calcify in history. Inside of each notebooks were lyrics to cheesy pop love songs ranging in span from the mid 80s to the early 2000’s. The mixtapes and laminated “Blookbuster” video membership cards pushed a humorous failure of our desire to return to the past forward. Exploring the space became like a trip to the old corner video store; pulling titles that seem interesting and reading the backstory to see if it’s worth the watch.

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A Tisket A Tasket at Front/Space image by Timothy Amundson

The importance of A Tisket A Tasket  is the work’s slow read. The objects’ lingering irony may raise the question “why ceramics” but it is this time consuming crafting which allows for the artists’ riff on the status quo of the medium and its continual sobriety to occur. I took my time with objects in the show, in humor thinking how important their function was to us not long ago. It is this controlled slowness of observation with the work that put us back in touch with the slower speed and moment in life we crave.The time in which White-Out was CTRL + Z, alarm clocks were separate from phones, and our inner thoughts or desires were retained on paper notebooks or postcards rather than Facebook timelines. These ceramic pieces by Charity Thackston and Julia Six functioned as takeaways for the audience attending the exhibition, a physical thing rather than a photograph. These found objects that melded with the ceramic work were the guides for the viewer. A new narrative is created each time a composition book is open or any time a book title is read. The importance of read and the slowness of action in A Tisket A Tasket created a new playing field for ceramic objects to exist within.




50/50’s Co-Host: Following Planted with an Unexpected Payoff

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On Instagram, scrolling down the timeline of 50/50 – a new alternative gallery built out of two shipping containers – I can follow each step of planning, construction, and studio visits through the artists that run the space. From adding insulation to graphic design decisions, hybrid artist-curators Cambria Potter and Hannah Lodwick, are pictured in these minimal tastes of progress. This transparency has allowed 50/50’s audience to build more than a year’s worth of anticipation for the arrival of their first exhibition, Co-Host.

The lengthy amount of construction photos showcase the sheer labor of building the space located in the West Bottoms just around the street from fellow alternative space Plug Projects and commercial galleries Haw Contemporary and Bill Brady. What stuck out on Instagram were images of studio visits with Kansas City based print and multimedia artist, Bobby Howsare, that planted a seed of expectation. Howsare is known for his pictured prints that play with optical illusions, moire patterns, and dynamic CMYK color phenomena. Construction documentation flowed beautifully next to this work. Because of the particular curation of 50/50s online Instagram space, I planned to encounter a completely different show dominated by Howsare’s work and its play on the newly constructed space’s architectural elements.

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Entering Co-Host it was Kristin Walsh – the visiting New York based new media artist and sculptor – who commanded the space with her installation. Walsh’s work is clean, sharp, and dynamic. Digital images that looked like a hybrid of Nintendo 64-style polygon environments and Google Street View – not far off in subject matter from curator Lodwick’s own studio practice – were projected on mirrored objects. Each of these cut at sharp angles reflecting the game-like images being projected, allowing for the work to refract the light and create other shimmering phenomena along the walls and ceiling.

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Rather than showing prints, Howsare showcased an installation based project utilizing analog dual projection film which viewers could see converging through a mirror at one point in the gallery. This projector-heavy show in a small space seemed to create an unintentional division between the two containers. Howsare’s installation felt stark in difference to Walsh’s work from color palette to spacial considerations, which made it hard not to wonder if his print-based work would’ve created a more dynamic conversation. Within the two-shipping-container-sized space any difference can easily become stark. Walsh created expansion and Howsare created compression. Maybe Walsh’s work not being previewed on Instagram allowed me to be surprised by lack of expectations, but I am anticipating even more out of the next two person show at 50/50.

 




Why Are We Just Standing Here? Dean Levin at Bill Brady KC.

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Bill Brady KC is a brightly lit white cube that looks like it was taken right from New York and tucked into Kansas City’s West Bottoms. This spatial frame allows for a close inspection of monumental artworks. Dean Levin’s exhibition features human-sized rectangular steel cages with offset rows filling the space not already taken by the gallery’s two main columns. Following those on the stark white walls are black semi-circular paintings hung at the eyeline which don’t demand that you get closer. His paint lies flat and dead along the stretched canvas. The work echos minimalism in a way that is underwhelming. Viewers stand like at a middle school dance between the walls of the austere space and the work that increased the cold presence.

Almost formulaic in nature, the work stays rooted in being as reductive as possible to avoid engaging with any sort of cultural narrative. Levin’s exhibition will be photographed beautifully and look great as an ad in ArtForum, and it seems as though that is as far as it needs to go. Apolitical work is incredibly appealing to the Patrick Bateman-esque art collectors of the world. Just like a logo-coated handbag, it takes pride in the surface level.  Levin’s work is emotionally detached and will continue to find its place on the opposite side of the wall from the audience.




Short Review: All Met new work by Chris Daharsh

There was an air of optimism as I arrived at MCC Longview Cultural Arts Center to view ALL MET by Chris Daharsh. The stout rectangular building with a wall of windows welcomed the October sunshine. Inside, the gallery had been opened up to make room for a circular stage lined by three large structures resembling canvas stretcher bars. The two in the back of the gallery were faced with plywood to create a solid surface, while the one in front of the entrance was only half enclosed to create a viewfinder for the exhibition behind it. The back left stretcher, and the solid half of the front stretcher had vinyl prints mounted to them. Within the constraints of the ring stood four statuesque performers displayed on low lying pedestals, their props nearby on two taller platforms. The players are seen gesturing their lines within a silent, fleeting world. The ethereal atmosphere I felt before walking into the gallery was shattered by the bizarreness of each form exposed by overly warm spotlights. photo 1   At first I was solely interested in the materials, studying each object trying to parse out how such a brightly colored blob of what looked like expanding foam sealant and plaster could adhere together. The simple frame pedestals displaying the props, or colored stone like formations, were at such a height that the objects transformed into artifacts familiar in shape, yet part of a seemingly forgotten history. The curation was intentional to keep the viewer within its ring, scrutinizing each object in a museological fashion. It was when I took a step back, aligning myself with the stretcher to the far right, I began to draw links from indonesian shadow puppets in which the abstracted, almost primitive compositions revealed themselves. An outstretched pink form with spikes protruding from one side resembled an iguana. The central figure, the lead role, took on the caricature of a Chinese Empress in full regalia, red packing tape and all. Even the mounted prints on vinyl, that shared the same colors of the artifacts, became a proxy for what would define place or environment in a theatre set.  Each character beautiful, provisional, and isolated began to weave an intricate narrative between painting and theatre. photo 3 Returning to the front of the gallery, the half covered stretcher as a viewfinder offered a limited perspective of the exhibition where the viewer is unsure what they are walking into comparable to the opening night of a play. The tall angular figure (Proto) I thought to be a bear, now doubled as a gargoyle. The subjective image each statue depicted had surpassed the materiality of the sculpture. There was sense of playfulness and imagination to the point where I could no longer ignore that I too had mounted the stage to perform. ALL MET is a reminder that when experiencing any work of art the viewer is performing the script the artist has written through composition, color and material. However, the conclusion of ALL MET is open to interpretation as narrative is constructed by the movement between and around the pedestals. ALL MET not only reiterates the link between painting and theatre, but also revitalizes the necessity of imagination.




West 18th Street Fashion Show – KC ART NEWS

This year’s West zoloft reviews 18th Street Fashion Show, titled, “Ceremonial Summer,” was the biggest and most exciting show yet. Every year, the block between Baltimore and Wyandotte is closed off. Thousands of people filled the streets, the seats, and the roofs of buildings to catch a glimpse of taking clomid and evening primrose oil the withdrawal symptoms of cymbalta show.

Mark Allen interviews Gigi Harris, junior intern for Birdies, and Danielle Meister, co-owner of Birdies and a show producer, to see what they thought. Watch the video below for full coverage of the event.

 




Short review: Farstad + Donner Powerful Storytellers at Plug Projects

The Saints by Julie Farstad

Tucked on the south side of 670 West, Plug Projects opened its doors to two shows working in tandem to construct a narrative of girlhood, and ultimately, motherhood. Plug is known for bringing in out of town artists, but now have expanded their back gallery space to exclusively exhibit local solo exhibitions. Julie Farstad, whose practice can best be described as a surrealist hybrid of embroidery, painting, and installation, was able to use this space first for her solo exhibition, Under The Orange Sky. The front space of Plug was dominated by the work of mixed media installations and paintings by Crista Donner, an

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artist from Chicago who utilizes the female form in narratives about our relation to home and the notion of the colony in HOM/E\MBODY.

 

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Our New System by Christa Donner

The entire show at Plug refers to the notion of storytelling and the capturing of dreams. In Donner’s work, surreal scenes are isolated into ornate paintings that could fit in the palm of a hand and constructed as parts to a whole installation. Donner’s use and denial of the edge of her creations is key. Cut paper works, reminiscent of Swoon, hearken the sense of fragility within these works as small pieces to be discovered. The dream-like non-linear flow of storytelling in Donner’s pieces corresponds perfectly to that of the work of Julie Farstad.

 

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Pioneer Saints by Julie Farstad

Although a wall and a drastic change in paint color separates Farstad from Donner, the surreal use of space continues. Instantly, two blindfolded dolls contextualize the work with the idea that “we are sleeping,” and the works — paintings and painstaking embroideries — act like glass lenses to the subconscious of a child. While the dolls in the spaces of Farstad’s work seem extremely lonely, the way that they dominate the composition gives them a real sense of power and control over the situations they are

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placed in. Mountains and clay-like objects in the landscape operate with the color palette to create an absolutely surreal “non-world” for us to delight in entering.

This show of bad ass female mastery of medium and storytelling is up at Plug projects until June 22nd 2014 and is on view from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays. For more info on this show or on Plug Projects, visit plugprojects.com

 




PLUG Project’s Publication 8 1/2 x 11 is Online and Free!

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Twice a year local gallery Plug Projects puts together a beautiful print – AND ONLINE – publication of art reviews, interviews, essays, and creative writing covering the Kansas City region called 8 1/2 x 11. Copies of the physical magazine are limited and are free at Plug Projects gallery space in the West Bottoms, or at Plug Boxes throughout the city (YJ’s, La Esquina, KCAI Campus) for a nickel.

Issue #1 Fall/ Winter 2012/2013 : features writing by Julia Cole, Rebecca Dubay, Matt Jacobs, Nicole Mauser, Aaron Fine, Chris Daharsh, Justin Beachler, Amy Kligman, Theresa Bembnister, Karen Matheis, Stephanie

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Issue #2 Spring/ Fall 2013 : features writing by Stephanie Bloss, Jose Faus, Jeff Eaton, Will Meier, Emily Kenyon, Derek Dobbins, Sarabeth Dunton, Amy Kligman, Lucas Wetzel, Halcombe Miller, Elizabeth Schurman, Blair Schulman, Melaney Mitchell, Maria Ogedengbe, Nika Winn, Phillip Bakala, Jessica Hogan and Stephanie Iser

 

Each issue is unbound in an envelope printed on standard sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of Paper , thus each writing corresponds to the image on the back side of the 8/12 x 11 sheet the works are printed on. As a collection of arts related critical writing, 8 1/2 x 11 is a fantastic way to participate in the written art dialogue in Kansas City. A second call for submissions for the next issue will be announced in the next few months. Be on the look out for that announcement. Until then, don’t be afraid to submit writing to us at Informality by visiting our SUBMIT page.




KC ART NEWS: Matt Alberts/ “LIFERS” at Escapist

Mark Allen interviews Matt Alberts in the latest edition of KC ART NEWS, an InformalityBlog exclusive.

“All the subjects are those who have dedicated their lives to skateboarding,” Says Alberts, a Denver-based wet collodion plate photographer. “Collodion is only sensitive to UV light, so it has the ability to see the person beneath the skin.”

Matt Alberts is on a journey from Denver to New York City, with his camera, his chemicals, and his passion for documenting the American subculture of skateboarding communities. His latest stop is Kansas City:

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“I had no idea KC would be so rad!” remarks Alberts.

“LIFERS” is on view at Escapist Skateboards on Southwest Boulevard. More information can be found at www.thelifersproject.tumblr.com




KC ART NEWS: Cory Imig – Room Size by Mark Allen

Check out this recent video by Mark Allen female viagra about Cory Imig’s recent exhibition at City Ice Arts: Room Size. Take a look at some of Imig’s installation works accutane drug interactions that explore patterns, textures, light and time. Room Size generic Wellbutrin is on view at City Ice Arts through May 24th. Schedule

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accutane an appointment or stop by Friday or Saturday from 12-5 pm. For more information or to see more of Imig’s work visit her website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hKILxyz7Z8

 

You can catch more videos like this in clomidgeneric-online24.com the future! However to see past videos visit http://kcartnews.tumblr.com/