First Friday: January 2016

The first FFAT of the year saw fairly low attendance under the mortifying specter of a 30% chance of snow, but this courageous soul braved the elements.

LHUCA Art of Collage (Photocredit: Kristen Swartz)

The LHUCA’s The Art of Collage illustrates the fine line between conceptual art and non-art—between what can and can’t be called art, falling just on the side of non-art. Art of Collage saw large pieces of paper hung from the walls of LHUCA’s entry hall, and an invitation to guests to participate, making use of magazines, crayons, glue, and the like to contribute in a collaborative collage project. The stock market, graffiti-covered walls, large crowds, and language are all complex; sometimes remarkably beautiful products of collaboration (intentional or unintentional) among humans, but none are art because none were made by the will and effort of a creator. Art can be created by the ambivalence of will or the slightest of efforts, but it must involve both, even if multiple people following a single design expend the effort. Accordingly, pictorial representation of stock trends, individual examples of graffiti, photos of crowds, and works of literature are all art because they satisfy this criterion. Art of Collage thus illustrates, possibly elegantly, the outside border of what is largely an unrestrained discipline.

Amy Cannestra 5&J Gallery (Photocredit: Kristen Swartz)

Mississippi artist Amy Cannestra presented a body of work including paintings, hand-manipulated digital prints, and sculpture consisting of innovative viewpoints of the female body. In the portrait-format paintings she printed her body onto the paper, creating an impression of the position she took sitting or lying on the paper while partially covered in paint. In the prints, each is a simple representation of a female silhouette or geometric pattern. The central sculptures are two amorphous clumps of bobby pins, each weighing the artist’s body weight at different times. Taken individually, the works would appear to be simple studies of pattern, devoid of much meaning, but together, they form a cogent, coherent study of body image and body-consciousness. Taken together, the exhibition moves past a portrayal of consciousness or examination of image to evince a partner-less intimacy; it’s a feminist exhibition that avoids being glaringly so.

Amy Cannestra 5&J Gallery (Photocredit: Kristen Swartz)

Images courtesy of Kristen Swartz (For more images of January 2016's FFAT, click here>>>)

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