Monday, August 13, 2007

why can't you

miranda lehman and kamden vencill just mounted the second online installment of we've moved on, why can't you, a show i first posted about back in may.

they write:

we embarked on this project about a year ago when we found ourselves surrounded by artwork that seemed to be hopelessly lacking in sincerity, inspiration, and mystery. we felt frustrated that cleverness seemed to hold more weight than substance, and distressed that the shared experience of simply being human had become totally irrelevant. At best, the art world seemed like nothing special. at worst, art appeared to be mired in a swamp of its own making. we felt compelled to remind everyone (including ourselves) that art is for the the people who make it and for the people who choose to experience it--not for an ambiguous elite whose true identity remains to be known.

the artists selected for this show are all people who we feel understand the idea that amazing art is created from a place where intuition works in tandem with ideas, where the final piece expresses something intangible and (at the risk of sounding silly) kind of magical.

i compared this section of the show's statement to what i wrote about the first installment:

these nostalgic, washed out pictures, unexpectedly composed in pinks and blues, draw from a collective visual vocabulary of seascapes, forests, and dreams. the images seem to have been selected with great care, as each series of photographs builds upon the same ideas as the last. as if all the images were cast into a bag, pulled out one by one, and then set carefully into place independently of their owners.

i was trying to talk about fairytale as inspiration without directly saying it, as much of the art references fairytales without exactly showing it. the idea of artwork having a magical quality is probably the singular driving force for me in making art. i like artwork that gives me chills, and for me, nothing does that more piercingly than a photograph. i am instinctually drawn to, and make, the kind of dark mysterious imagery celebrated in this show.

interestingly, all but one of the four photographers featured in this exhibit (which also showcases four other visual artists) is a flickr alumni: bryan schutmaat (aka last leaf), celia perrin sidarous (aka lying with the wolf), and sara a. trembeley (aka sarasme). it was exciting for me having looked at many of these photographers and many of these very images before, to see them recast in a new light because i think the greatest strength of this project is miranda and kamden's nack for manipulating the work they choose into a new harmonious piece of art.

below image by lina scheynius

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