Drék Davis, ...and justice for all (2003)
Saturday, May 31, 8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Culture Jamming Video Night
Christine L. Harold (Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication) presents a short lecture, Jamming: Rhetoric, Resistance and Consumer Culture, with a montage of video clips by activist artists.
PLUS a screening of The Horribly Stupid Stunt (which has resulted in his untimely death), a video by The Yes Men (theyesmen.org) AND MORE!
Pay-What-You-Can:$3-$5 Suggested Donation
Saturday, June 14, 8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Jack Toolin, visiting Performance Artist from California in Lullaby of the Invisible Hand
Pay-What-You-Can: $3-$5 Suggested Donation
Tuesday, June 17, ATHFEST: Meet the Curator and Artists Hour. Time TBA.
Please check the Athfest site (www.athfest.com) for time slot.
Thursday, June 26, Athens Clarke County Heritage Foundation Event. Time TBA.
Saturday, June 28, 8:00-10:00 p.m. Closing Party. Music TBA.
Pay-What-You-Can: $3-$5 Suggested Donation
|Friday, May 2nd, 2003
- Saturday, June 28th, 2003
Comments on Consumer Culture
Curator: Lizzie Zucker Saltz
Dealing with shopping culture more specifically is UGA Photography lecturer Ben Reynolds, whose C-prints focus on cheesy southern grocery items and a recent arrival to Athens, Jen Drummond. In Drummond's funny documentary short, F.E.D.S, she utilizes rotoscope animation to reveal 'behind the scenes' interviews of some Food Education Demo Specialists handing out free samples in a grocery store in Austin, TX, her former home (where she worked on the cult hit animation Waking Life). This is her directorial debut, which has already screened at several film festivals around the U.S. While Athenian Kevin Hoth considers the 'drive-thru,' in his boxed, audio piece At the Window, fellow Athenian Gwynn Kennedy and Andrew Prayzner of New Haven, CT both contribute poetically inspired Walmart themed paintings. Prayzner's Homage to US Economy is from his The Future Decays series based on banal fast-food landscapes which were " born out of (his) frustration with middle class America's apathy that has, in part, allowed the suburban sprawl and unfettered commercialism that pervades our culture." Mike Geno from Langhorne, PA contemplates what people value in America’s Fascination with Quantity and Thrift, a series of 32 small drawings replicating the oddball contents of a gift shop supply catalog, all drawn in cheap ballpoint ink. Atlantan Travis Medford's wall installation product=noproduct, comprised of custom-printed empty product packets contemplates the influence of packaging design on materialistic desires, while UGA undergraduate Mary Katherine Barton fills car-freshener packets with chicken shaped artists' books in Car-Fresh, a commentary on the local poultry industry. John Schmidt, a Professor of Painting at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah offers us Detritus, a digital image that confronts us with the common fate of the junk we purchase. Many of the artists' deal with the ubiquitous impact of branding, such as the Athenian-recently-turned-New Yorker, Bobby Abrahamson, whose striking 1996 photo series, Dreams, Despair and the Coca-Cola Olympic Circus bear witness to the hype in Atlanta then. Athenian Ben McCormick's digital print, Discarded Baggies, exposes how even the illegal world of drug dealing now exploits the power of logos. UGA undergraduate Kerry McCaughan's dense gel pen and gold leaf drawings, Material Girls, comment on the implicit sexism of marketing aimed at women, while her fellow student Jeff Young's Bandit, a collection of booze bottles with Burt Reynolds labels, cleverly comment on the selling of masculinity. UGA BFA graduate Christian Croft's multi-layered photos: titled microsoft brotkunst, nike brotkunst and playboy brotkunst, feature corporate logo's made out of viscous materials such as flour, yeast, wheat germ, milk, egg and honey framed in actual bread. They play off the German expression brotkunst, which literally means 'art made for bread' (bread has the same idiomatic meaning of money in German and English), bringing the artworld along for the ride. The widely exhibited Los Angeles artist Martin Gantman engages related issues in his Art Mags series, which take the form of shiny, skinny, 8 foot tall banners, which resemble Blockbuster museum exhibition banners. His banner images slyly remark on the collusion of culture and commerce by using blow-ups of vertical slices cut from the pages of art magazines, with the resulting coincidences of a Gucci logo on the front juxtaposed with part of an art gallery ad on the back providing the punch. Theron Moore, of Pomona CA takes on the widespread influence of corporate logos in his manipulations of the universal man, also using a hanging banner format. Tackling corporate culture with a more topical perspective is Athenian John English, who literally soaks those corrupt CEO's who soaked us, in his piece, made just for this exhibit, The Ivan Boesky Awards: CEOs of Dubious Distinction, in which CEO's faces have been transferred onto sponges. Athenian Eric Simmons dark glazed painting, Efficiency and Progress, also skewers the businessman, but in a style reminiscent of painter Jack Levine. In his short animation, Lullaby of the Invisible Hand, California Jack Toolin places a shifting interior of corporate skyscrapers within the silhouette of a businessman and sets it to an eerie lamentation on the limits of capitalism. (Toolin is a member of the collaborative new media group C5, who most recently participated in the Second Art Biennial – Buenos Aires, and the 2002 Whitney Biennial.) Economic/Equation, a short lyrical video poem by Michael A. Ricciardi of Seattle, WA deals with similar issues, but with a whimsical surprise ending. Athenian Jen Grover's interactive piece, Penny for your Thoughts, also created just for this exhibit, involves viewers in an exercise which promises to prompt contemplation of intellectual property issues. Recently relocated New Yorker, now Athenian, Andy Meyer, explores the camp power and nostalgic aspects of advertising imagery in his funny mixed-media assemblages, as does Laura Floyd in digital prints taken from the longtime Lexington resident's JiffyLux project (www.jiffylux.com). In JiffyLux, a multi-faceted work-in-progress, Floyd asks "what has 50 years of TV done to us?," and explores "the roots of American consumer culture, the boom of mass media advertising in the 1950’s" with tongue-firmly in cheek, as evidenced by the selection of mock advertisements included in the show, which reveal Madison Avenue's power to create cliches of American identity. (Seeing an early version of Jiffylux originally spurred exhibit curator Saltz to mount this exhibit.) UGA BFA graduate Otto Lange's large scale, meticulous charcoal drawing, Wunderkind, similarly juxtaposes personality and product, while two sensual and surreal plaster and mixed-media sculptures from Somerville, MA by Anna Shapiro, Unzipping and TV Taste (from her White Noise Series), explore the impact of television and technology metaphorically. Lastly, the widely exhibited area sculptor, Athenian Rick Herzog, is creating a site specific outdoor sculpture, Full Steam Ahead, for ATHICA's porch, using Uncle Sam imagery made of product logos, commenting on the American tendency to merge democratic concepts with market economics. Like the other work in this jam-packed exhibit, Herzog's work has a polemical edge, but is also mindful of the humor, humanity and complexities associated with the rich topic of consumer culture. A variety of affiliated events have been planned. A Culture Jamming Video Night will take place on Saturday May 31st, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m., led by Christine L. Harold, UGA Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication. She will present a short lecture, Jamming: Rhetoric, Resistance and Consumer Culture, with a montage of video clips by activist artists. Also included will be a screening of The Horribly Stupid Stunt (which has resulted in his untimely death), a video by The Yes Men (theyesmen.org), who infiltrated a meeting on trade issues posing as WTO representative, resulting in a Pie-ing. And Performance Artist Jack Toolin will visit from California on Saturday, June 14th, from 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., to present work that "makes satirical commentary about the lust for life in a flush economy…or the lust for economy in a flush life…or something like that." He has performed in venues across the country such as The Turmoil Room in Pittsburgh, Dixon Place in New York, and Fugitive Art in Nashville, and regularly performs around the San Francisco Bay area, his home base. We hope that you will join us for our exhibition's affiliated events to gain greater insight into this fascinating topic. Lizzie Zucker Saltz, May 2003