BWW Interview: FOUND'S Mikel Glass on Experiencing Visual Art in a Transformative Way
Long gone are the days of raw, in your face, art? Think again! This fall, an immersive and stimulating experience called FOUND, comes to the cell from fine artist Mikel Glass. This explosion of art, found and transitional objects, and the surprises to be discovered within our imaginations challenges audience members to leave their preconceived notions of art behind and step into an alternate universe. A unique mix of visual art and immersive theater, FOUND promises to take you on an adventure like no other!
BroadwayWorld had the exciting opportunity to catch up with Glass about the inspiration behind FOUND; how it differs from any other artistic and interactive experience out there; and how it's celebrating the lost RAW spirit of art - as it was intended to be!
FOUND sounds like a truly unique experience! Where did the inspiration come from?
The installation really comes to life with our performers! The inspiration behind FOUND came from the feeling of art being looked at as formulaic - and wanting something different from the nearby Chelsea Galleries. At the cell, we want our guests to be able to truly experience art and not think of it as a passive exercise. The goal is to appeal to people's sense of humanity with this immersive and visceral experience for the senses! We want to wake everyone up!
Can you describe what it's been like for you to see audiences immerse themselves in your creation and make it their own experience?
It's been a pleasure to create this party-like atmosphere and space where guests don't have to worry about getting it right and can come and safely share ideas. The veneer of contemporary art has been stripped away with FOUND and we're looking at it like an experiment. It's so satisfying to create this moment of departure from the every day.
I'm delighted by the enthusiasm people have brought with them and to witness this intersection between art and theater. It's been magical to watch the process unfold and play out in real time. The best part is seeing guests leave with a smile on their face - that's what I call a celebration!
How has working with the team at the cell brought your vision to life?
The cell and artistic director, Nancy Manocherian, have been so generous, and I've learned so much from this collaboration - how art as a process impacts the final performance/product. We definitely experienced the upside of the learning curve! I'm very intrigued by immersive theater and would love to continue staying in this lane!
Any final words to encourage folks to come out and support FOUND through Halloween?
At the end of the day, I'm a visual artist and I'd love nothing more than FOUND to appeal to people in the visual art lane, as well as the theater lane. I consider myself to be a culture warrior and feel that it's so important to expose the next generation to art and music, because culture challenges our brains in a different way and bolsters our creativity. It's so important and we as a society, can't lose sight of that. At its core, art and performance are RAW and we need to keep working to unleash the lost spirit of art in its purest form for our world.
FOUND runs through October 31st at the cell.
Photo: Tracy Weller in FOUND. Courtesy of RRR Productions.