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THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY NEWSLETTER FOR ART IN EASTERN IOWA

IOWA CITY ARTS REVIEW MARCH 8, 2013

WEEKLY CALENDAR ONGOING EVENTS Rachel Livedalen, “Behold, A Most Spectacular Spectre” | ABW | March 4 - 8 Exhibition of work by Janis Finkelman, MFA student in Painting | Porch Gallery March 4 - 10 Exhibition of work by Abbey Edwards, BFA student in Photography | Ark Gallery March 4 - 10

CRITIC EVENT PICKS

EDITION 1 VOLUME 11

shrouded artist in either unpopulated natural locations or in various domestic settings. While the natural shots do a nice job of capturing the her as an artifact of femininity

Rachel Livedalen, “Behold, A Most Spectacular Spectre” Art Building West

in nature, the home scenes convey a more evocative sense of women and their relationship to the home throughout history. The most successful photograph, titled ‘Make Do

It is impossible to start talking about ‘Behold’ without

and Mend VII’ fully communicates the artist’s intent to

first mentioning its performative centerpiece; a solitary

create ‘Dialogue with the ghost of femininity within our

unmoving figure that haunts the gallery space. Engulfed

contemporary culture.’ She is reclined on a bed and fully

by a shroud of knitted ivory yarn which spills out onto the

blanketed by a knit that seems to vacillate between burden

floor, and with almost imperceptible vespertine voices

and ethereality, while her eyeless gaze is at once cold and

floating out of the yarn, she welcomes the viewer into the

enticing. In this photograph the merits of prim and proper

gallery. The viewer is invited to experience the vocalized

acts of modesty (head-to-ankle covering) is controverted

anima by laying upon the floor and listening excerpts

by the invitation to the private bedroom and the bearing of

of instructional literature for and about the nature of a

the feet.

woman compiled from the last 150 years, interspersed

Exhibition of work by Destiney Ohrt and Jessica Van de Loo, BFA student in Graphic Design and Photography | Drewelowe Gallery March 4 - 10 Exhibition of work by Kelsey Yoder, BFA student in Printmaking | 3rd floor ABW March 4 - 10 Michael Kienzie: Social Studies | The Douglass and Linda Paul Gallery, Englert Theater | February 14 - March 12 Patrick Reed, “Drought Behavior” | Public Space One | March 4 - 15 The Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists CSPS Hall | through March 16 Robert Polidori, “Selected Works, 19852009” | Faulconer Gallery in Grinnell January 25 - March 17 Kimberlee Rocca | CSPS Commons Gallery through March 31 Monica Correia and Terry Rathja Legion Arts Main Gallery in Cedar Rapids through March 31 Joseph Patrick, Legion Arts Club Room in Cedar Rapids | through March 31 “Backwards is the New Forward,” Art and Architecture of North India | Kendall Gallery, 1st floor, IMU | March 1 - April 1 Barry Phipps: I’m New Here & Milan Bobysud: Structure | Paper Nest through April 1 “Flags” by Lindey Anderson | McNutt Gallery through April 7 University of Iowa Art Faculty Biennial Exhibition | Figge Art Museum through May 5

with the artist’s own musings. The experience of laying on

The overall tone of the show is evocative and subtle as

the yarn is immediately gratifying; the soft fabric warms

the artist does not seek to pit the feminine against its

with your body heat as you hear instructions on proper

masculine counterpart. The artist has plainly embraced this

dress length followed by an intensely personal wish, ‘I’m so

by way of asking the viewer to lay on her labor during her

worried about everything. I just want to stand right here.’

performance. These works are devoid of irony or any of its trappings, seeking instead to sincerely consider the roles of

Hanging on the walls are a series of photographs of the

women throughout history.

THURSDAY MARCH 7

Place Theatre | 8:00 pm

Clarinet Studio Recital | Recital Hall, University Capitol Centre | 5:00 pm

A Dream Play - UI Theater Mainstage | David Thayer Theatre | 8:o0 pm

India Jazz Suites | Englert Theater | 7:30 pm Dancers in Company Home Concert | Space Place Theatre | 8:00 pm CAB Music: David Ramirez | The Mill 10:o0 pm A Dream Play - UI Theater Mainstage | David Thayer Theatre | 8:o0 pm

FRIDAY MARCH 8 Equilateral | The Mill | 5:o0 pm Dancers in Company Home Concert | Space Place Theatre | 8:00 pm A Dream Play - UI Theater Mainstage | David Thayer Theatre | 8:o0 pm

SATURDAY MARCH 9 Michael Jackson Dance Forever Party | Public Space One | 6:oo pm - 12:00 pm Roger Oyster, euphonium master class Recital Hall, University Capitol Centre 10:00 am Dancers in Company Home Concert | Space

SUNDAY MARCH 10 Chamber Orchestra | Riverside Recital Hall 3:00 pm Center for New Music guest artist, Ensemble: Peripherie | Riverside Recital Hall | 7:30 pm A Dream Play - UI Theater Mainstage | David Thayer Theatre | 2:o0 pm

MONDAY MARCH 11 University Band and Concert Band | Second Floor Ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union| 7:30 pm

TUESDAY MARCH 12 “Attic Pottery in the Persian Levant: Five Short Stories,” lecture by Professor Andrea Berlin, visiting speaker in Art History | Room 240, ABW 5:30 pm

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 Jessica Mathaes, violin; Uriel Tsachor, piano Riverside Recital Hall | 7:30 pm

IOWACITYARTSREVIEW.COM


QUESTIONING IN THE WOODS: ORIENTEERING A RESEARCH-BASED PRACTICE FROM A LOG CABIN ON THE TIP OF THE MITTEN BY KRISTEN DEGREE This winter, from February 2nd through the

the residency, I had written a proposal that left

We use these terms to rationalize our practice,

8th, I participated in a project called Cabin-

me room to adapt it as necessary. My proposal

to professionalize (profess) ourselves and add

Time. Cabin-Time is “a roaming creative

was about making connections between the

credibility to our work because it seems to

residency to remote places” intended as a

idea of wilderness as secular sublimity, the

gesture towards somewhere more legible. To

platform for environmental stewardship as

national/state parks network, the citizen labor

me it’s different kind of device, because how

well as site-specific work. I was initially drawn

movement of the past and how we experience

would I profess myself if not filtered through

to Cabin-Time because the place chosen was

Wilderness State Park in the present. I was

my subjectivity, when nature, history, and

Wilderness State Park, where the very northern

interested in how ideas of wilderness conceal

bodily experience so often speak more to me

tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula edges into

the presence and histories of previous

than art does? It is of ecological importance to

Lake Michigan.

inhabitants. I looked at CCC camp newspapers

see all things as connected, including seemingly

on microfiche at the University of Iowa; I also

spatialized areas of knowledge. This practice of

The prospect of a creative residency during

planned on visiting the Department of Natural

exploratory dilettantism lets us question fields

winter camping conditions intrigued me; it

Resources archives of the park as a means of

that would normally be cut off to us. I was not a

offered the potential of sublime solitude in

trying to map the ways parks are shaped and

park historian, botanist, forester, naturalist, or

nature complicated by the possible discomfort

realized through both humans and the state.

an expert of anything, but I was able to embody

of cold and proximity to eleven strangers, in

When the lake-effect snow delayed my visit to

parts of these roles.

a Civilian Conservation Corps-era cabin, in a

the Archives of Michigan, I had to rethink my

state park called Wilderness. It sounded both

proposal and my approach to research. Terms

I began to think of the park itself like a

utopian and an exercise in magical thinking, to

like research-based artist and interdisciplinary

document, conducting a search for old-growth

designate something as wilderness: to consider

practice increasingly feel like the stuff of artist

hemlock at Hemlock Trail, a sparse collection

it uncultivated, inhospitable, and uninhabited

statements and conference panels and less like

left behind from the logging days. I made

in effect made it so, even as the park’s former

they encompass everyone’s unique approach to

graphite rubbings of the insides of the log

industry as a clear-cut operation meant it was

thinking and doing, and yet I wasn’t sure what

cabin, cut down trees, and park signage, all

anything but untouched.

to do without mine.

different ways of mapping the language that guides us through the park. I filmed a shuttered

Wilderness State Park was a former logging

We know that no photograph, letter, treaty, or

Nature Center through its windows, the dusty

camp along Lake Michigan until the 1920s,

unclassified document can ever tell the whole

exhibits portraying an eternally didactic

when the logging process and several forest

story of what happened on this land, nor can

summerland. I recorded sounds I thought

fires cleared the majority of trees, at which

the pure phenomenology of experiencing the

I would never hear again. I collaborated

time it became a game preserve. In the 1930s

pine logs that constitute the CCC-era log cabin.

with a new friend on a project about visual

it was made into a state park with the help of

These are only ever partial, incomplete ways

descriptions in museums, and how they relate

the Civilian Conservation Corps. Similar to the

of understanding history. Renaming the land

to nature.

Works Progress Administration, the CCC was

as Wilderness, with its implied inscrutability,

initiated during the Depression to provide jobs

makes it difficult for us to know what came

When we overlap conflicting ideas and

for men from ages 18-25 who were otherwise

before it. How much can we tell from the

histories, phenomenology of the space,

unemployed. The CCC is probably one the best

material evidence around us? I found myself

common knowledge, textbook didacticism, we

loved agencies from the New Deal era: led by

seeking unconventional forms of research: the

find the possibility to make poetic connections

the Army, they reforested state and national

parkspeak that names trails as signifiers for the

between things that seem otherwise unrelated.

parks, developed hiking paths and roads, and

things the signs replaced, or the homogenous

The history of this land is related to natural

built the distinctive log cabins found at many

appearance and age of the trees. This practice

resources, is related to environmental

parks.

of noticing space and feeling duration in

extraction, is related to the New Deal

relation to our bodies helps us along, but is it

landscape, is related to deep ecology notions of

enough?

preservation, and is related to artists working

Besides being a job-creator during tough times, the Civilian Conservation Corps was a form

in creative residency in remote places. In the

of federal patronage. It is potentially one of

The way we address this land as purely

cabin, I began to feel oddly reassured by the

most enduring of civilian and military-run

recreational and our inability to know what

futility I found in isolation, which felt like an

landscaping projects, begun at a time when

came before can impair us politically. The

echo of the futility I felt in isolating seemingly

parks had previously been constructed with

concealment of labor and extraction makes it

separate theories and practices. The State

prison labor. Parallel with the emblematic

impossible to know what this terrain looked

Park was a hermetic never-never-land, outside

WPA posters promoting the new and upgraded

like before. It makes it hard to imagine that

of history and yet brimming with it, both

parks, the CCC program marked a period of

there were previous inhabitants before white

revealing and obscuring those relationships

nation-building through parks and recreation.

settlers. It makes it hard to understand

to me all at once, leaving me questioning my

In the case of Wilderness State Park it created

how multiple layers of occupation look like

practice in the woods.

land reserves for recreation, a literal re-

presently. Research, broadly, helps us with the

creation of the land– after the extraction of the

difficult task of understanding how we know

commercially-viable resources.

the things we do.

ATTN: FOR SUBMISSION OF ARTICLES AND/OR LOCAL EVENTS CONTACT:

It was with this tangential research on my mind If terms like research and interdisciplinary that that I wrote my proposal for Cabin-Time back

we use to reflect our practices are dead, then

in December. Because of the site-specificity of

how can we re-create them?

iowacityartsreview@gmail

co-creators: Brian Prugh and Heidi Wiren Bartlett


Icar vol1 ed11