The Value of Long-Form Journalism in Contemporary Art

Art Center Sarasota, in partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat, presents a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ann Albritton, panelists include Chris Jones and Michael Wyshock.

January 18, 2017 (6:30 PM)
Art Center Sarasota

Art Center Sarasota, in partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat, presents “The Value of Long-Form Journalism in Contemporary Art,” a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ann Albritton, professor of contemporary art history at Ringling College of Art and Design. Panelists include the artist Michael Adno; Chris Jones, curator of works on paper at The Ringling; and Michael Wyshock, an artist and professor of fine arts at Ringling College.

This event is free and open to the public. An advanced reservervation is required. Email sarah@artsarasota.org to reserve a seat now (seating is limited).

Long-Form Journalism in Contemporary Art 2

Lisa Berger, the center’s executive director, says that Michael Adno’s current exhibit at Art Center Sarasota, “Cracker Politics, The Limit of Colonial Knowledge,” will serve as a focal point for the discussion. In his recent work, Adno studies the blurry lines between history and politics and actual experiences. His work involves working with historians, researchers, and local community members over long periods of time.

“The discussion will draw on my exhibition as a departure point to ruminate on the role of long-form journalism and art practices of the 21st century in an increasingly vitriolic political climate where we are seeing diminishing opportunities for those forms of reportage, a backlash against succinct reporting, and a frightening distrust in facts,” says Adno.

Berger adds that Adno asks viewers to explore the role sensationalist journalism plays in our perception of reality. “Is long-form journalism an endangered species? The discussion will address the role artists and writers serve in contemporary culture.”

Michael Adno is a Brooklyn-based artist and writer. He is a 2015 Ringling Towers grant recipient, a Fellow at The Hermitage Artist Retreat and a 2017 nominee for the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

Long-Form Journalism in Contemporary Art 1

Art Center Sarasota
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Cheyenne Rudolph at Ringling Underground

In recent years, functional ceramics, a medium often shunted into the category of craft, has been accepted into the vast world of contemporary art. The February Ringling Underground features three artists living in Florida and exploring the medium of clay. Jenn Ryan Miller, Sharon Norwood, and Cheyenne Rudolph use ceramics to explore various themes. Their diversity will provide the Ringling Underground audience with a multi-faceted view of contemporary ceramics being produced in Florida at current.

For the first installment of Ringling Underground on February 4, 2016, Cheyenne Rudolph will be performing Lemon-Aider. Cheyenne, who received her MFA in 2014 from University of Florida, is both a ceramicist and performance artist. Her performances utilize subversive functional ceramics to explore childlike assumptions about domesticity and cultural expectations. Cheyenne graciously agreed to participate in an interview to provide the Ringling Underground audience with context about her performance, Lemon-Aider.

Cheyenne Rudolph performing "Lemon-Aider"
Cheyenne Rudolph performing Lemon-Aider

Please describe the piece you will be performing at Ringling Underground on February 4.

The Lemon-Aider is an interactive mobile beverage cart, designed as a traveling performance piece to challenge the collective assumptions surrounding gender identity for women. A nostalgic lemonade stand, the Lemon-Aider is a operated by a caricatured retro housewife, whose good intentions are peppered with indecorous insinuations brought on by the mechanics of operating the juicing device. This is not your childhood lemonade stand.

Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup
Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup

Why did you choose this piece to perform, and what are you hoping from the Ringling Underground audience in terms of participation?

The Lemon-Aider is a friendly piece, highly approachable, and participants come away with a more intimate encounter. The piece is mobile and flexible in how I perform it, as I make lemonade from scratch for one individual at a time. It is more like a conversation with a character than a timed performance in front of a live studio audience. Participants may watch as I demonstrate, or they may interact with me as I make lemonade.

When did you begin combining your ceramics with performance art?

I have a background in theatre, studying it briefly in high school and undergraduate school. As the art objects I made became increasingly ambiguous and absurd in their functions, it was necessary to explain their use. The element of control is important in how I design the work, so it was natural for me to demonstrate, and to essentially take over the use of the objects, so that now, I am the only user. It has blossomed into an engaging way to design and make work.

Saturday Apron
Saturday Apron

Where does a piece begin, the ceramics or the concept for the performance?

Definitely the concept is primary. As I have learned to design for my own engagement, I am liberated from making pedestrian-friendly functional objects, so I think of them as actors or overstated props in the performance. I think about whether I will be performing live or through video, which helps in how I design the work. I also think about the installation and visual context of the piece; because it will be informed by its surroundings and my own interaction, the object no longer has to carry the full weight of the concept. I can, in a sense, magnify my visual concept to installation proportions, letting the backdrop, the video editing, or my own script, bring in subtext. I then make the object with my preliminary performance idea in mind. After the object is complete, the performance may go through a series of trials and refinements, and at times, I need to remake the object to better suit the performance needs.

Lemon-Aider in action
Lemon-Aider in action

What is the relationship between the ceramics and the performance elements of your art?

The objects instigate, or provide the implications of the performance, yet in their complicated design and retro aesthetic, they draw the viewer in. They are designed to be appealing, as is my own costume, yet while in use, they become a source of absurd subversion. I am picking apart and drawing attention to the expectations placed on me, personally, and on women of a particular type.

What type of influences motivate your art practice?

1950s/1960s kitchen products, Chindogu and infomercials of the 90s/00s, parodies and satire, old SNL skits, calling attention to conventionally accepted, yet unjust paradigms. Lucille Ball, Amy Sedaris, drag performers, theatre scenic design techniques and methods.

 


Ringling Underground is series of one night only events combining live music and experiential artworks in the Courtyard. The artwork is curated by Natalya Swanson and Shannon Fortner organizes the musical performances.

Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.

Cash bar provided by Modern Events at The Ringling.

Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event.
Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:#RinglingUnderground

Ringling Underground: April 2, 2015

The visitors to the final Ringling Underground of the Spring 2015 season will encounter a range of mediums including an interactive performance piece with Vincent Kral, paintings by Laine Nixon, sculpture by Matthew Drennan Wicks, and a site-specific installation by Michael Covello. Artists will visually transform the courtyard by challenging the spectator’s perception.

Michael Covello
Michael Covello

“My practice expresses itself through an idiomatic language of hybridized abstraction, where diverse formal elements contradict and complete each other. The spaces I depict within a painting or installation are densely layered and at times antagonistic in their composure; with shallow fields of clashing images, patterns, and color palettes. I am not interested in making work that is easy to view- instead I strive for a language of excess, where a maximalist non- representational vocabulary creates a challenging space for the viewer to inhabit. By provoking my audience to re-evaluate their methods for viewing, I am confronting the typical relationship we have to image, architecture, and environment. The motifs of assembly, demolition, accumulation, and containment are common throughout my work, and highlight the temporal process of creation. For instance, through masking, over-painting, and removal, compositional elements undergo continuous cycles of emerging, shifting, and concealment. Thus, as I work on a piece, attempts to organize a space are constantly being folded back in on themselves as the process evolves. As an artist exploring and reacting to this unsteady terrain, I see my artistic process as a suspension between remembering, forgetting, and rebuilding.” –Michael Covello

 

Matthew Drennan Wicks
Matthew Drennan Wicks’

“My current studio practice is a process-based exploration of traditional craft in a contemporary context that highlights specific domestic materials and the intrinsic properties of clay. This often leads to the transformation of materials through specific craft-based processes. While notions of beauty, kitsch and class all bubble under the surface of my work, I strive to challenge the viewer’s perceptions of familiar materials and forms and their pre-loaded content.” –Matthew Drennan Wicks

Vincent Kral
Vincent Kral

I will be performing a piece called the Return of the Ink Panther, before the event starts I will set out pink colored Easter eggs all around the space with clues or about the other artists participating and possible hint at some imagined mystery. During the event I will appear as Inspector Clouseau and engage the visitors in character and ask them if they have found any clues. The piece is about enjoying art having fun and interacting with the artists and asking questions. The Eggs can be returned or kept by visitors.” –Vincent Kral

Laine Nixon
Laine Nixon

“I pursue my work through a studio practice, developing non-objective paintings that subtly embody the conflict between visual perception and the physical object. Zuhanden, a series of 4’ x 4’ non-representational paintings, are responsive works where I embed thinned washes, pours or otherwise watery paint within a heavy-bodied, textured acrylic gradation. The first layers are applied thin and wet – they tend to run, dart, bleed, and are generally unpredictable. In contrast, the gradation is a highly organized and repetitive exercise, where I slowly string small beads of paint together increasing the pigment in one-step increments. The process allows me to first experience the thrill and uneasiness of the unknown, and then to enjoy a deep retreat into a slow, meditative period of organizing the initial chaos. The formal challenge that I have issued myself is to see if I can reverse the typical salient and recessive properties of transparent and opaque marks in order to provoke a subtle sense of confusion, a moment of uncertainty.

In my explorations, one constant is that my work must highlight the tension between the painting (the illusion) and what is actually there (the physical object) – or between thought and thing. For me, there is no definitive hierarchy between the two; if asked, I would encourage the viewer to oscillate back and forth in order to experience both realities. I tend to enjoy this ambiguity as a path to refuge which in turn leads me to all kinds of other good things such as understanding, perspective, mystery, or even peace and joy. These are the aspects I wish to share by sharing my work.” –Laine Nixon


 

Musical entertainment for the evening includes Lady and Gentleman, Maximino, and Young Rapids. Additional details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1612258982341793/

Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.

Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event. Food and refreshments are available for purchase. Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:
#RinglingUnderground


 

For additional details about exhibiting at Ringling Underground, please contact the Artist Liaison, Natalya Swanson at nswanson3@gmail.com