8th Annual Nohl Fellowship Exhibition Opens at Inova
The Institute of Visual Arts (Inova) at UWM opens an exhibition of work by the artists who received the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual
Artists in 2010. The Nohl Fellowship exhibition opens on Friday, September 30, 2011 at Inova/Kenilworth, 2155 N. Prospect Ave. It brings together work by three artists in the Established category: Brent Coughenour, Paul Druecke and Waldek Dynerman; and four artists in the Emerging category: Sarah Buccheri, Neil Gravander, Ashley Morgan and Chris James Thompson.
(Please see Fact Sheet, below, for details, a complete schedule of ancillary events, and information on related exhibitions.) Gallery hours are Wednesday & Friday-Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm; Thursday 12 noon-8 pm. The exhibition remains on view through December 4, 2011. Inova/Kenilworth will be open on Gallery Night and Day, October 14 and 15. Established Artists
Mike Hoolboom, in his catalogue essay, identifies Brent Coughenour as an artist whose work eludes classification, even in an era of elastic categories and hybrid genres: "Call it outsider art made by those in the know. Hoser formalism." Coughenour, he continues, "scrapes out the media entrails of a godless digital culture, looking for signs of what might have been named sacred, but that today appears as hacker code or masculine brio templates." Coughenour himself sees cinema as inherently corrupting: "Since all meaning is contextual, one of cinema's greatest corrupting powers is the ability to fabricate from whole (celluloid or virtual) cloth one's own unique context--not simply spatial but also temporal--allowing for autocratic control over the meaning (read: experience) generated by cast shadows and glowing dots." He sees himself as an editor, "creating a linguistic, syntactical context for an image to inhabit, a context that imposes a meaning the image would not otherwise carry." This excavation of meaning is central to In Search of Lost Time (2011). The multi-channel installation is a technological dissection of footage culled from network television designed to expose-in purely formal terms-the routine manipulation of emotion common to television dramas. Coughenour moves to the theater to present Mysterium Cosmographicum (2011), a comedy in three parts that incorporates computer programming for audio and video manipulation so that unique live versions can be generated. There, it hovers between film and performance. Brent Coughenour is a media artist originally from Motor City (USA), currently residing in Cream City (USA). Previous works have explored various overlapping corners of narrative and documentary cinematic language outside the boundaries of a traditional dependence on drama and plot. He has presented his work at a variety of festivals and venues throughout North America and internationally, including Rotterdam, Media City Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, EXiS (Seoul), and Ann Arbor Film Festival. Coughenour is also an occasional member of the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra (MiLO).Brent Coughenour's ancillary events include a screening of short conceptual video works on November 2 and the live audio/visual performance (Mysterium Cosmographicum) on November 16. Both events take place at the UWM Union Theatre.PAUL DRUECKE
"Paul Druecke faciliates stories about a given site, sometimes identifying those previously untold or under-told and at other times launching new ones," writes Irene Tsatsos in her catalogue essay. "Either way, he gathers and disseminates narratives, defining, redefining, or identifying how history--itself an accumulation of individual stories--intersects with place." For his projects, Druecke has solicited strangers door to door, christened a park and courtyard, rolled out the red carpet, been a benefactor, initiated a Board of Directors, and memorialized the act of memorialization. Druecke's contributions to the Nohl exhibition-a cast aluminum sculptural object that resembles a Wisconsin Historical Marker in shape and coloring, but lacks text; a bronze plaque on the outside of the gallery; an offering of chrysanthemums; two charcoal-on-tissue studies--highlight absence and dislocation while appropriating the authority of institutional centrality. The plaques, notes Tsatsos, simultaneous skew and appropriate the idea of the history of state ideology. "Within a triangle of site, gallery, and state, Druecke establishes enduring evidence of these shared narratives, quietly taking over or at least taking notice in a way that has not already been recognized by the state authorities. Thus an official bronze marker comes to identify one moment, one existence comprised of eternal acts repeated and revised. It is the emblem of a shared story that continues to unfold." Paul Druecke has worked with venues including the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Germany; Many Mini Residency, Berlin; the Suburban, Chicago; the Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Green Gallery, Milwaukee; and the Contemporary Art Museum Houston. Druecke's work has been featured in Camera Austria and InterReview, and written about in Artforum, Art in America, Artnet.com, and Metropolis.com. His essay, Lines on Abbey Bridge, was recently published by Kent State University.Paul Druecke will offer a talk entitled Cover the City with Lines on the Artists Now! lecture series on October 5, 2011 in the UWM Arts Lecture Hall.WALDEK DYNERMAN
Waldek Dynerman's installation, Inventory, combines 2D and 3D work, both figurative and highly abstracted, driven by a narrative that is in turn inspired by a process. The materials are non-archival, an ideological choice rooted in a difficulty with authority, decorum and consumerism. A figure, often fragmented, dominates the exhibit. Dynerman acknowledges that the installation's "tragic" tone is hard for him to avoid, but it is partly deflected by humor and paradox. "I trace the roots of my obsession with a world that is broken and disjointed to my upbringing in Poland soon after WWII, and to the Holocaust," he observes. "My work also has a political dimension anchored in the present. It is a critique of a modern world permeated by warfare, lack of empathy and injustice. I naively believe in art as agent of progress." Waldek Dynerman was born in Poland in 1951 and is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In 1983 he accepted a teaching position at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, where he is currently a professor of drawing and printmaking. Dynerman works in sculpture, 2D-mixed media, and printmaking. He has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe. His most recent shows include: Train Project at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Art Gallery (2009); Coexist at the Cedar Gallery, Milwaukee (2010); and Tra-La at Augusta State University, Augusta, Georgia (2011).Waldek Dynerman will deliver a gallery talk on Thursday, November 3 at 6 pm, and he will screen Memory Check(42 min, 2006), a documentary shot entirely in Poland that explores the fading memory of the Holocaust, on November 30 at the UWM Union Theatre.Emerging Artists
Sarah Buccheri acknowledges that the debate over whether video will replace film is not new, but the total elision of video and photographic film in the minds of her students-it's all video, isn't it?-disturbs her. To exorcise her anxiety about working with and being attached to something whose presence may be fading, she offers an excerpt from her 2011 diary. i(mpractical)Cal(endar) is an installation requiring seven projectors to project 16mm loops (representing seven of the days in the month of October, 2011) onto a wall-relief calendar. The clattering projectors, the jury-rigged scaffolding that supports them, and the anonymous rectangles on the wall, laid out in the shape of October, create a glimpse into the future. Buccheri will also screen three works on monitors: Man Crashes Plane (2011); Antarctic Territory, 2004 (2008); Door (1997). Sarah Buccheri was born and raised in suburban Chicago and lived for a stint in New York City before moving to Milwaukee. She has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has performed at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Walker's Point Center for the Arts, and Galapagos Art Space. Her films and videos have screened at the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Detroit Docs International Film Festival, Citizen Jane Film Festival and Heaven Gallery in Chicago. She currently teaches film and video at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.Sarah Buccheri will screen five works on November 2 at the UWM Union Theatre. These include House Ghost (2011), Women's Room (2003) and the three works shown in the gallery.NEIL GRAVANDER
Neil Gravander, reports his longtime friend Diane Reynolds, "was academic in the garage, at age nine with circuit boards and batteries, junk and magnets." He went on to write music using children's toys and reel-to-reel recorders, glued rings and loops of tape. He worked like a scientist, and also like an artist, trying to communicate a "subtle, overlooked, daily natural world." In the midst of his circuit board experimentation, Gravander realized that there is no real difference between audio and video signals in their pure electronic form: "They are made of the same particles and can be controlled by similar components in similar ways." For the past year, he has been approaching his visual projects electronically. His basement is littered with obsolete technologies--VCRs, audio cassettes and tube televisions-that "create the sounds and images impossible to realize with any other tools," according to Adam Krause in his catalogue essay. "Magnetic tape is sped up and slowed down, television tubes are overdriven, VCRs are rewired to alternate rapidly between fast and slow play, while video signals are played across audio heads."Gravander will have seven objects on display in the gallery, from the monumental Colliding Circles (aka Epileptic Electrons), a tower made of 32 tube televisions (with a 33rd hidden away) displaying video made on the artist's own Video Synthesizer #4; to the interactive Punch-Yourself-In-The-Face Machine and the tube television and fish tank (with fish) construction, Video Fee(sh)dback. The Story of You and Eye - parts 1, 2 and 3 (exercises in teamwork and selfish enjoyment) creates three interactions, as Gravander explains: "you looking at you and me looking at me, separately; you looking at me and me looking at you, separately; and us looking at us together." As the title suggests, the piece offers opportunities for teamwork as well as selfish enjoyment. Other works include Video Synthesizer #4.5; Improvisations for Hand Spun VHS (aka Video Springer), which documents the output of a homemade audio/video instrument; and Single Scene from Double-Dude Does Repetitive Action (Extended Cut), a VHS video recorded through a VCR that the artist has modified to function as a kind of multi-track video recorder.Whether Gravander is creating a forum for play and interactivity; testing the limits of antiquated technology or the boundaries between sound and light; or inquiring into the nature of time and space (even the weak magnets in a VCR can bend time and space: VHS tape can be manipulated to play faster, slower, forwards, backwards; it can be delayed, erased entirely, or held in place indefinitely), his experiments exist on the border between new media and sculpture, and some of them are objects of great formal beauty that ask us to see in a new way.Neil Gravander has bachelor's degrees in political science and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 23 home-recorded albums (as Lucky Bone), 60 handmade electronic instruments, 45 televisions, 500 thrift store cassettes, and one pair of shoes. He is still building.Neil Gravander will offer an interactive video performance in the gallery during the opening, and he will also release a free, limited edition audio CDR, Lucky Bone Presents: Basement-Land Blues -Basement Recordings Dec. 2010 - July 2011. Gravander will screen Double-Dude Does Repetitive Action on November 30 at the UWM Union Theatre.ASHLEY MORGAN
Ashley Morgan creates objects that draw the viewer into a romantic world where love and loss are always revealed. She experiments with non-traditional materials and transforms common objects to reveal new meanings, simultaneously deploying processes-collection, repetition, decomposition-unique to each project. Morgan lures you into the gallery by coating the windows with a thin layer of honey syrup, creating a kind of temporary staiNed Glass (Stained Window (honeybee)). In Such and Such Street, Morgan applies resin to the inside of windows to mimic (and also displace) rain. She hand carves a pattern of Xs and Os into a manufactured chair railing in I Carved Your Name into a Tree, juxtaposing the handmade and the mass-produced, the public display of conquest and the private memory of love gone. In Arc she collects eyelashes in tiny vials of rainwater and places them above more water to catch their reflection. "Her elaborate environments created from vintage objects and aged architectural elements suggest a scene from a foreign film," observes Les Christensen in her catalogue essay. "There are no subtitles and you don't speak the language, but you clearly are able to follow the storyline."Ashley Morgan lives and works in Milwaukee, where she is an instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. She studied sculpture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MFA 2010) and visual arts at Arkansas State University (BFA 2006). Morgan has traveled to Florence, Italy, to study outdoor contemporary sculpture. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including public art projects in Florence and a solo exhibition in Seoul, Korea.Ashley Morgan will host House and Universe, a poetry reading at sunset, on October 13.CHRIS James Thompson
Chris James Thompson is a listener. Of late, he's been listening to the people who were around serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the summer of 1991, when he was arrested. Thompson is making Jeff, a hybrid experimental documentary incorporating these interviews, archival footage, animation, and fictional elements. While excerpts of the film will screen in the UWM Union Theatre, in the gallery his installation evokes the interrogation room that Milwaukee Police Department Detective Patrick Kennedy used during the six weeks he spent meeting with Dahmer to identify the 17 victims as he built the case against the serial murderer. In that claustrophobic space, Kennedy is replaced by a monitor playing Thompson's interviews with him; the chair across from Kennedy is empty.Chris James Thompson was born in England on Guy Fawkes Day, and currently lives in Milwaukee every day. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, his first film, Kyoko Naturally, won the Milwaukee Filmmaker Award at the 2007 Milwaukee International Film Festival. Thompson also edits and produces for Bluemark Productions, an independent film company. He has credits on the Bluemark films Collapse, The Pool, and Suffering and Smiling. Jeff is his feature-film directorial debut.Chris James Thompson will screen excerpts from his experimental documentary Jeff on November 30 at the UWM Union Theatre.