LAUREN FRANCES ADAMS
DAVID W. HALSELL
The Regina Gouger Miller Gallery Presents Carnegie Mellon
School of Art Master of Fine Arts Student Exhibition
PITTSBURGH—Findings, the 2007 Carnegie Mellon University School of Art Masters of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, will open with a reception from 5–8 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2007 in the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery on the Carnegie Mellon campus.
John Carson, head of the School of Art, describes the exhibition as one in which you will find six fantastic artists: a quirky creator of a robotic menagerie; a farm girl asking questions of the military; an observer of traumatized adolescence; a mesmeric Icelandic storyteller; an aesthetic manipulator of sound and light; and a computer whiz fighting media overload.
Carson adds, “They are united by a refusal to take anything at face value. They will rework it and throw it back and ask us to think again. I have been mightily impressed by these characters since starting as the new head of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon in August 2007. They have made me laugh, climb, shiver, eat pork, crawl on my belly, lie on my back, hallucinate and brood.”
Featured in this year’s exhibition are Lauren Frances Adams, Jan Descartes, David W. Halsell, Ian Ingram, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, and David Tinapple. The students will give gallery talks about their work as well. On Tuesday, April 17 at noon, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir will speak about her work in the gallery. On Tuesday, April 24 from 5-8 PM, Adams, Descartes, Ingram, Halsell, and Tinapple will give a public tour of the exhibition. Both events are free and open to the public.
For Findings, Lauren Frances Adams will present an installation entitled Pushing Sisyphus. This new work is a juxtaposition of a more personal domestic sphere with the public sphere of political propaganda and literary history. References range from those engaging the existential writings of Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus, for example) to those reflecting domestic matters (madness, sex, money), politics (conservative talk radio, propaganda, work) and the relationship among them.
Jan Descartes says she uses narrative “as a way to filter through my own memories of growing up in rural America, where perhaps ideas of the cultural norm were pulled from various forms of media due to physical and social isolation. In particular, I find myself very interested in questioning certain staples of culture and their effect on the psyche. Romance, sexual identity, femininity, desire, lust, violence, fear and power all play a part in the reality I am questioning and the fictions I concoct.”
David W. Halsell’s latest works for Findings are quasi-scientific devices that highlight aspects of our environment overlooked or outside of our range of sensory perception. One machine “plays” the texture of the gallery wall like a record player, articulating the slightest imperfection in the surface into sound. Another work consists of a real-time video installation that is manipulated by ambient elements such as seismic vibration and sounds above and below human hearing.
As an artist and technologist concerned with the importance of play, Ian Ingram’s work takes the form of toy-like robotic sculptures and game-oriented mechatronic installations. A toy can serve as a portal to profound experience and Ingram attempts to create such toys, often with associated narrative elements that lead viewers to extrapolate their own interpretations and significances. Much of his work is implicitly an exploration of what robots can be outside the boundaries of industrial, military, and popular preconceptions. Ingram says that, “making these machines and robots requires a synthesis of technology, choreography, animation, and a sense of awe of the inner-workings of the natural world, both its macroscopic, dynamic morphologies and the algorithmic underpinnings of the systems we call life.”
Gunnhildur Jonsdottir explores a magical reflection of reality through storytelling and drawing. In Findings, she exhibits a video projection of computer-based drawings with a voice-over narration. Her stories all have roots in reality, but Jonsdottir examines how memory and history merge with fiction when presented in this way. Jonsdottir sees herself as a “conjurer of storied time and space.”
David Tinapple's work is provoked by the flood of images that wash over us in our media environment. He focuses in on the ways we relate to these images by re-configuring and re-aligning our perception. In this exhibition, he shows videos that extract only the breathing from a presidential debate, and only the silences from television. He projects video onto specific objects, wrapping them tightly with moving images. Another device requires the viewer to be viewed, asking us to complete a circuit and enter into a chain of perceptions. Tinapple's work illuminates and confronts the subtle forces at work around us.
The Regina Gouger Miller Gallery is located on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Hours of operation are 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday. Visitor parking is available in the East Campus Parking Garage, located on Forbes Avenue just east of the Morewood Avenue intersection.
Exhibitions at the Miller are supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, individual sponsors, the School of Art and the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon.
For more information about the Master of Fine Arts student exhibition contact Regina Gouger Miller Gallery Director Jenny Strayer at 412-268-3877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the College of Fine Arts contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or email email@example.com.