Dairy Arts Center

Brutal Realities

Visual Arts Exhibit at the Dairy Arts Center: Brutal Realities
An exploration of alternate and real-life hard to believe realities.

On View: January 17 – February 23, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, January 17,  5:00pm

Co-curated by Drew Austin and Mark Amerika, Brutal Realities exposes how contemporary artists confront their shifting nature of reality in digitally mediated culture. This manifests through various artistic mediums but focuses on artists working in the field of new media art. Presented primarily through video, sound, animation, photography, performance, and digital manipulation, the exhibition features artists who have shown their work nationally and internationally, all of whom have developed their work while living in Colorado.

Each artist in the exhibition brings their unique style of manipulating data to form a different approach toward the precarious cultural and political situation we find ourselves in. Some of the artists choose to use humor and post-internet parody to send a direct message, while others use abstraction, movement, and color to evoke an emotion or line of inquiry. Throughout the exhibition, viewers get critical insights into a world mediated through technology. Brutal Realities invites you to question the world around you and rethink what it means to be alive at a time of global climate crisis, cross-generational existential angst, and information overload.

Centered around the University of Colorado Boulder’s TECHNE Lab with Déesse, Jon J. Satrom, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Melanie Clemmons, Ryan Wurst, Rick Silva, Nicholas O’Brien and Mariana Pereira Vieira, the McMahon Gallery features a group exhibition of work from current and former TECHNE Lab faculty, graduate students and staff as well as the partners and instructors that have helped maintain it for nearly 20 years. New work is presented alongside near prophetic work from the past decade, all following a common thread of challenging our perception of reality in a world infused with alternative facts, Deep Fakes, AI bots, and surveillance capitalism. 

The TECHNE Lab is a practice-based research initiative in the digitally-expanded intermedia arts and humanities, founded in 2002 by Professor Mark Amerika at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The lab serves as an artistic hub between the Department of Art History and the CMCI Doctoral Program in Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance. TECHNE artists participating in the Brutal Realities exhibition include Déesse, Jon J. Satrom, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Melanie Clemmons, Ryan Wurst, Rick Silva, Nicholas O’Brien and Mariana Pereira Vieira. In the summer of 2018, TECHNE Lab faculty and graduate artists held two simultaneous exhibitions in New York City, and this exhibition brings the art back home to Boulder.

In the MacMillian Family Lobby, Dominican-American artist Annette Isham physically and metaphorically places herself within the abstracted landscape of the West. Full of masculine connotation, the West became of interest to Isham as a vast canvas to impose a figure of feminine energy. Visually resembling patterned breasts as well as referencing ovum, the circular form travels in and out of the landscape defying laws of space and gravity through a constructed playing field. 

The Polly Addison Gallery features work from Michael Theodore’s Why Time? Series; an enigmatic symphony of color and texture, each work focusing on a single specific environment. These works capture “time from a process that has no end and no beginning.” Through Theodore’s fields of movement, we are reminded of the slow-moving erosion of the earth, the waves of the oceans, and the cyclical nature of the sun, and yet, his digital touch makes the work seem unfamiliar, peeking curiosity. 

Rounding out the exhibition is a collection of work from Regan Rosburg and Natascha Seideneck. Both interested in the minute details of the natural world, both women present strikingly beautiful work with a bleak underlying message. The work lures the viewer in–exposing material, substrate, object–and slowly reveals that the creation of this work directly connects to the destruction of the natural world. Using waste products, such as plastic, oil, chemicals, as well as discarded objects from the natural world, both women look to the future at a world destroyed from the effects of today.

Brutal Realities will open on Friday, January 17th, starting at 5:00 pm. At 6:00 pm a brief introduction and discussion of the works on view will be made. A special live audio/visual performance from exhibiting and visiting artists will be presented in the Carsen Theater from 7:30 – 8:30pm. For more information on the performance, please visit the Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brutal-realities-live-av-performances-tickets-87502461217.

The reception is an opportunity to meet and mingle with the artists and curators. Light fare for attendees, plus drinks available for purchase. All receptions are free and open to the public.

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