Communication is flexible. Humans start to speak, listen, and communicate as infants, learning language/s, social mores and codes, ways to define and express the Self—beginning a lifelong process of taking the ideas entombed in individual consciousness and enacting them outside in the world. Childhood games like Telephone depend upon the hapless shapeshifting of logic as a story is delivered down a line childhood peers to demonstrate to children the faults (and importance!) of listening, but to also reveal the human determination and joyful creative will to fill in the cracks. The critical introduction of tools, be they the gift of writing, the development of empathy, or two cans with a string between supply the vehicles needed to speak, listen, and hear more, and hopefully more clearly.
Over the course of 2018-2019 the Handwerker Gallery’s exhibitions and programming will explore translation and communication, examining what gets lost/gained/transformed during dialogue and embracing the intimacy & trust required for the process. How does meaning of art change when an idea is made tangible, or when an object is placed in a new context? What conscious and subconscious transformations occur when a topic is processed through conversation or conflict? What new vocabularies are developed or codeswitched between? What meanings & understandings are misplaced, ignored, or forgotten as one thing becomes another?
Opening the semester with solo exhibitions by Imin Yeh and Mark Joshua Epstein, Yeh’s work requires visitors to reimagine objects and the labor of their production, while Epstein’s work asks visitors about the relationships between artist identity, strategic manufacture, and interpretation. Both artists toy with the edges of tradition from their respective media, printmaking and painting, to explore new conventions and potential in paper, paint, and the pageantry of display. Following Fall Break, solo exhibitions of work by faculty artists Carla Stetson and Lin Price each position the visitor in dialogue with the pictorial subjects of their serial works, rupturing the confines of the picture plane. Stetson’s work examines the thin edge between humans and animals, while Lin Price’s exhibition centers on the borders and relationships between neighbors in rural communities.
Communication is flexible—at times joyfully expansive, woefully complicated, transformative and strange. We look forward to sharing another exciting year of gathering and dialogue with art at the center.
Director, Handwerker Gallery