KMA Opens Two New Exhibits, Including Renowned Video Art

Article excerpt

KMA exhibits

'Contemporary Focus 2012'

- What: Works by three East Tennessee artists in annual contemporary art exhibit

- Where: Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World's Fair Park Drive

- When: Aug. 24-Nov. 4; museum open 10 a.m-5 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday; free public opening 7-9 p.m. Aug. 23 with cash bar

- Admission: Free

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'Fischli & Weiss: The Way Things Go'

- What: 1987 video of chain reaction with fire, gravity, everyday objects

- Where: Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World's Fair Park Drive

- When: Aug. 24-Nov. 4; museum open 10 a.m-5 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday; free public opening 7-9 p.m. Aug. 23 with cash bar

- Admission: Free

A video with an international following and the works of three East Tennessee artists will be unveiled Friday, Aug. 24, in two related contemporary exhibits at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

The art film "The Way Things Go" is a 30-minute 1987 video by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. To create the art in motion, the collaborators set up ordinary objects such as car tires, ladders, tin cans, barrels and wooden plank seesaws in a warehouse. By adding fire, blasts of air, various corrosive liquids and fireworks and by using the force of gravity, they created a 100- foot chain reaction across the warehouse floor. Tires roll up and down planks in a domino effect; cans spin in circles; string fuses and nests of straws catch fire.

Since debuting at an international art festival in Germany 26 years ago "The Way Things Go" has been shown in museums worldwide, grabbed the attention of their visitors and became available as a DVD. In Knoxville the film will play across the back wall in a gallery just off the front entrance. Seating will allow visitors to watch the video as long as they wish.

Knoxville Museum of Art Curator Stephen Wicks says the video was brought to his attention by a museum trustee who saw it at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. The Knoxville museum, he says, "is trying to cultivate a new audience for video and show more video work. We thought this would be a great way to get some people who are on the fence about video excited about it .... It draws you in and keeps you mesmerized. Anyone can appreciate the imagination and hard work needed to set it up."

Across a hallway from "Fischli & Weiss: The Way Things Go," the works and perspectives of three artists will make up the museum's fourth annual "Contemporary Focus" exhibit. Showing an international work like "The Way Things Go" concurrently helps broaden the KMA's contemporary offerings, Wicks says.

"Contemporary Focus is our annual exhibit to provide a platform for talented artists in East Tennessee doing untraditional, adventurous work not often shown other places," says Wicks. "It's important also to show significant contemporary art from outside the region."

"Contemporary Focus" artists are photographer Joshua Dudley Greer, a visiting photography professor at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City; ETSU art faculty member and paper sculpture artist Andrew Scott Ross; and Chattanooga artist and teacher Mark Bradley-Shoup. …

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