Monday, August 23, 2010

Artist's Studio: Shawn Hall

Shawn Hall from Crunchy Bugs Creative on Vimeo.

Verso is proud to present the first of a new series of short videos by Crunchy Bugs Creative. On Sunday, July 11, 2010, the artist Shawn Hall hosted myself and Crunchy Bugs Creative (Elliott Houston and David Hall) at her studio in the Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Place Meets Time

Mount Tina M.B. Church, Scott, MS, 1990.

Place Meets Time, Tom Rankin's meditation on the passage of time and its affect on a particular landscape, is currently displayed on the fourth floor of the Ogden's Goldring Hall. Rankin lived in the Mississippi Delta from 1988 – 1992, where he was a professor and department chair at Delta State University. He is currently the Director for the Center for Documentary Studies and Associate Professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Brooks Chapel M.B. Church, Greenwood, MS

Place Meets Time represents a body of gelatin silver prints shot with an 8X10 view camera, that explores the landscape, monuments and vernacular architecture of an eighty-mile stretch of the Mississippi Delta over a period of two decades.

Alfred Green Grave, Morning Star M. B. Church cemetery
Beulah, MS 2009

Tom's artist statement:

"When I moved to the Mississippi Delta to teach at Delta State University in 1988, the light and the landscape of the region immediately seduced me. Land that some outsiders might find monotonous with its table-top contours and endless horizon, I find purely magical in the resonance of time, water, and season. As Eudora Welty wrote of in Delta Wedding, “all seemed sky.” And it does on some days, from some vantage points. But more, to me, the Delta seems all land, with the nuances of breaks and bayous, levees and mounds, fields and sacred spaces accentuating the landscape in such a visible way as to make it seem all you could ever want as a photographer. And so I return, over and over, to a place I lived for only four years but a culture I’ll never be able to rinse from my mind’s eye.

I was also immediately drawn to the sacred in the many African American communities. No single institution in the region has had a more profound impact on the entire culture of the Mississippi Delta than the countless African American churches that accent the landscape. The ubiquitous presence of these churches and their adjoining cemeteries and churchyards—these sacred spaces—constitutes a three-dimensional iconography in an otherwise profane agricultural landscape. Landmarks to some, places of spiritual refuge to others, “home church” to their devoted members, these centers of religious and social life have been planned, built, decorated, and maintained by local communities out of heartfelt intention. I see in these spaces and the adjoining landscapes the attitudes, beliefs, aspirations, hopes, and realities of the entire place.
As the bell towers of noble churches rot and fall, as preachers and congregations pass on, as graves sink and stones erode away, as religious sites become overgrown, the Delta certainly looks different. In the end, though, my interest is not so much in what is absent but what is present—how the marks of time and weather are visible, how what remains may be slowly disappearing, but stands equally sacred."

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Kohlmeyer Circle Presents: Jenny Hager's Flight Lab

The Kohlmeyer Circle, the young support group for the Ogden Museum, has been dedicated, for several years now, to bringing emerging artists whose projects include a technological component to the Ogden on White Linen Night. This years offering is Jenny Hager's Flight Lab.

Jenny K. Hager is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of North Florida, where she has been teaching for four years. She received her MFA in Sculpture and Digital Media from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA. She also holds a BA in Art Education and a BFA in Art Studio from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.

Interested in a variety of processes and materials, including steel, cast iron, post-it notes, video, wood, digital photography and found objects, she finds inspiration in dreams, objects from her childhood, gadgets, sea life and other curiosities. She is also very interested in collaboration; the spirit of community important in both her teaching practice and in her own work.

Hager’s work has been exhibited across the country and currently at Ironstone, the Kidwelly Castle Exhibition in Wales. She and her husband, Lance Vickery (also a sculptor), recently collaborated on a large outdoor sculpture for the city of Ft. Pierce, FL. Another recent project involved collaborating with 106 sculptors across the country to create a large body of sculptural work called Imagillaboration, currently a traveling exhibition.

Flight Lab is currently housed in a fourth-floor gallery of the Ogden Museum's Goldring Hall. The openning of the exhibition on White Linen night marked another successful event sponsored and supported by the Kohlmeyer Circle.

Flight Lab

The inventor who works in this laboratory is a pseudo-scientist who is interested in achieving flight through the mechanics of swimming. Through the exploration of ideas, sketches, and models, the inventor studies possible methods of achieving flight by these means. Flight Lab
references the dream and the tool used to achieve flight, the flight suit. Upon entering the dark gallery, the viewer sees a video
projection of someone wearing a white form-fitting suit and white aviator goggles, flying through empty space. The suit has webbed feet and webbed hands. The image of the person flying travels through space on the gallery walls, from one wall to the next. Each wall resembles an observation window in an aquarium, the projection is a continuous loop in which the viewer is surrounded. In the center of the gallery floor is a display case which houses the flight suit, a remnant from another time or place and the tangible object that remains from the dream.