June 14- July 6, 2014

June 14- July 6, 2014

Opening reception: Saturday June 14th, 6-10 pm

GALLERY WALK-THROUGH Sunday June 15th @ 2pm!

Rooms 1 & 2:

Claire Rau

These home accessories are inspired by the recent move of my grandmother, who was entrenched within a tomb of family artifacts.  Many of these objects, furniture and tchotchkes, have descended to her nearest and dearest.  Translation: into another storage unit.  Heirloom speaks to this burden of stuff, physical and emotional, between generations of people to whom acquisition meant wealth.

Claire Rau was born in Sandusky, Ohio and raised in northeast Tennessee.  She completed her graduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and presently teaches foundations at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  She is the recipient of several awards and residencies, while continuing to build upon an extensive exhibition record in the US and internationally.  Claire is a founding member of The Front in New Orleans.

Room 3:

Kenneth Pietrobono/Ross Hulkes
The Natural

In this installation, artist Kenneth Pietrobono and writer Ross Hulkes, present a series of writings and artworks that consider political action, social organization and their limits in our modern landscape. Pietrobono, an artist engaging in political/social critique pairs the terms and systems of economy, social order and political thought with an index of the natural world, presenting these forces as disturbingly natural and sublime. Ross, philosopher and writer, presents a series of meditations on the paradoxes and compromises of modern state sovereignty and personal freedom. The jointly produced publication, Ode to Panacea, will be on display and available throughout the exhibition in addition to site-specific installations created by Pietrobono to highlight themes and concerns of capital and inequality.

Room 4:

Jessye McDowell
Make it Real

Make it Real derives its title from a 1987 pop ballad by the Jets; it is a song whose combination of sincerity and sentimentality evokes a nostalgia both humorous and affecting. Nostalgia - and its attendant longings - is the driving force of this body of work, which features landscape-based compositions created entirely with 3D modeling software. The images combine traditional landscape elements - lakes, mountains, snow - with materials and palettes that are recognizably “unnatural,” plastic, and human-made. The exhibit also includes sculptural elements incorporating props scavenged from NYC Fashion Week, custom-made “luxury detritus” whose forms are echoed in the images.

The imagery plays with cultural oppositions between “natural” and “digital” which are currently in flux, due to developments in biotechnology, digital fabrication, and networked culture. While technological advancement continues to inspire utopian optimism, our lived realities - infused with our digital existences - are often characterized by a pervasive alienation. We tend to idealize a “natural,” more real way of life that we imagine we’ve left behind, resulting in what I see as simultaneous pleasure in the excesses of today, longing for an intangible authenticity of yesterday, and hope for a future perfected by technology. These conflicting impulses inform the works in Make it Real, where slick surfaces and livid colors define spaces that hover between fantasy and horror.

Jessye McDowell is an artist working across digital platforms to examine the interworkings of lived experience and digital life. She received an MA in Media Studies from the New School University in NYC, and an MFA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Auburn University.