SPACES Executive Director Christopher Lynn sat down to talk to Jef Scharf about The Euclid Square Mall Project (http://www.spacesgallery.org/project/the-euclid-square-mall-project) —Scharf's combination installation and non-narrative experimental video document. This interview is a second take, since the first time the audio sounded horrible. It's too bad, because there were some gems in that first conversation. That being said, the second take is chock full of goodness as well. Take a listen:
Tomorrow evening we open two projects: Elizabeth Dunfee and Machine Project. Elizabeth is an Akron-based artist who has expanded her painting practice to include video and sound in a room-sized environment. What is great and exciting about the SPACELab program is to watch local artists step outside of their comfort zones and try something different. SPACES provides a safe place for that experimentation to happen. Check out Elizabeth's interview on Cool Cleveland about her project: http://www.coolcleveland.com/blog/2011/02/manic-growth-spaces-elizabeth-dunfee-explores-how-were-harming-ourselves/
Our other "exhibition" opening tomorrow is Machine Project. They are a unique and quirky confederation of artists based in Los Angeles. They provide art experiences that delve into experimental music, massage, psychic mediumship, food and poetry. What I love about Machine Project is how they consider people's full experiences at museums and galleries and not just the experience of looking at a thing. You'll likely find musicians squirreled away in odd corners of the gallery space performing for one or two people. You'll find fun and energetic displays of demolition at Destruction Karaoke (http://www.spacesgallery.org/events/destruction-karaoke-machine-project-event). The video below will give you an idea of how they try to make every interaction with their audiences an artful one.
As Elizabeth Dunfee delivers the strong message of self-depreciation through consumption, Manic Growth provides the much needed impetus to stop, reflect and explore how, as human beings, we can be more mindful and caring of our bodies and what we put in them,. Hopefully it gives us inspiration to transform our worlds (even if just 10%) on a micro and macro level.
Dunfee's exhibition will open to the public on February 11 (6pm) and is an exquisitely composed work of art that creates an environment of exploration and inquisition about life, art and the artist's statement.
Although it is not directly related to the subject of her current exhibition, Dunfee's words about harming our body brought to mind how we also hurt our physical environments. What I found was a profound collection of photos from Yann Arthus Bertrand (http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/v2/yab_us.htm) entitled Earth From Above, a portrait of Earth in the 21st century. What first began as a survey of the earth became a project about sustainable development; in the words of Bertrand, "man cannot be disassociated from the landscape."
What Dunfee and Bertrand do in their work as artists is instigate and agitate our consciousness. What do I really eat? What does it really do to me, to the environment? What is the state of the environment, inhabited by over 6 billion people in the world? What can I do to make myself and my world better?
It is this that the artists inspire in me from their works of art, and can inspire in so many others, which make art galleries and museums around the world priceless social institutions. On this note, I leave you with this quote from Mohandas Gandhi: "As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."
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