Philadelphia Artists' Works Create Compelling Show

By Shaw, Kurt | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Philadelphia Artists' Works Create Compelling Show


Shaw, Kurt, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


It may be the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, but seven artists from Philadelphia have taken over the first-floor galleries of the center to display their art.

Organized by the center's Adam Welch, their exhibit "Context Ingeminate" is the result of an ongoing annual trading of spaces between the Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia.

The exhibit features the work of the Philadelphia group's Career Development Program Fellows: Ana B. Hernandez, Bohyun Yoon, Leslie Atik, Tim Portlock, Maria Anasazi, Laureen Griffin and Allison Kaufman.

Their work represents a small cross-section of the 21 artists awarded a career development fellowship, a two-year program that gives participating artists an opportunity to experience a full exhibition schedule, receive career counseling and mentorship, teach in the community and participate in numerous professional development opportunities.

"This exhibition exchange is part of an ongoing collaboration by CFEVA and PF/PCA created in order to strengthen the artistic dialogue between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia," Welch says.

The title of the show, "Context Ingeminate," attempts to "marry the passive and the active, the viewer and the creator," Welch says, which it does flawlessly thanks to engaging works like Yoon's "Structure of Shadow."

Taking up an entire gallery, Yoon's installation is comprised of hundreds of small, cast-rubber body parts. They create numerous shadows of figures on the walls that seem to dance, thanks to a gyrating light bulb hung directly in the middle of the installation that activates as the visitor approaches.

Yoon says the truncated rubber figures, hung like puppets, portray the idea of a group as opposed to an individual. It's something he relates to his training in military methodology while serving in the Korean army.

"As soon as I entered the military in Korea, my superiors tried to brainwash all the new soldiers in regards to who our enemy is, why we have to obey them and so on," Yoon says. "This training methodology and military law were very well structured and very effectively organized to control new troops."

A light and shadow trick is a key factor in this work. Yoon says it is a metaphor of the invisible power of political tricks he encountered.

Kaufman's "Dancing with Divorced Men," a six-and-a-half minute, single-channel looped video projection, makes a different, though equally pointed, social commentary.

Basically recordings of the twentysomething artist dancing with middle-aged, divorced men in their homes, Kaufman says she decided to make the video after a visit to her newly single father's apartment for the first time.

"It's very strange to visit the home of a newly divorced parent and see what they choose to surround themselves with when they are living on their own for the first time in a long time, or possibly ever," she says.

All of the participants in "Dancing with Divorced Men" were found through online or in-person divorce-support groups. …

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