Photos by Will Arnold
We are pleased to announce the opening of Accepted Knowing, featuring work by: Will Arnold, Sophia Flood, Amy Gilles, Jim Graham, Ben Grosser, Yun Jeong Hong, Micah Jefferson, Jacob Juhl, Pancho Panoptes, Jason Patterson, Anna Peters, Julia Pollack, Laura Tanner, Sarah Beth Woods, Michael Woody. Curated by Jeanie Austin, Maria Lux, and Nicki Werner.
Opening reception: Friday, July 29 from 6 – 8pm
Closing reception: Friday, August 26, from 6 to 9
Gallery hours: Tuesdays 12 – 5pm; Thursdays 5 – 9pm
July 29 – August 26, 2011
Figure One exhibition space will be holding an opening for its newest exhibit “Accepted Knowing: Peer Review” this Friday, July 29th, from 6pm to 8 pm. The show, curated by a painter, a sculptor, and a librarian, features an array of work, including landscape painting, essays, Internet-based pieces and found object installations by a range of local and regional contributors.
This is an exhibition about the nature of knowledge: what do we know, how do we come to know, and what are the limits of knowing?
In scholarly research, what is accepted as “known” must be validated by professionals in that field. This system is formalized in the peer review process, where articles submitted to scholarly journals are accepted or rejected based on the recommendation of a panel of reviewers.
This exhibition engages with the peer review process through both its content and its structure. The jury process for this exhibition mimicked these collective validations of knowledge by allowing applicants to serve as a pool of experts who then collaboratively determined which work would be included in the show through anonymous written reviews.
The project resulted in a collection of works that question the veracity of information, the validity of objectivity, forms of knowledge transmission and memory, and the credibility of these experiences.
Is it possible for information to be neutral? As the manifestation of knowledge, information carries the biases, prejudices, and perspectives of its creator. Even the most apparently impartial information carries value judgements – it speaks to what received attention and whispers quietly about what was not valued or seen as worthy of communication. In addition to this, individuals interpret information in a myriad of ways. Life experience and personal definitions, as well as unconscious motivations, affect how information is incorporated and used to create new ways of understanding the world.
Peer reviews and wikis may reveal where these individualized understandings of information overlap (or are similarly socially constructed). They may lead to a clearer perspective of what is widely accepted to be true. Conversely, the divergences in knowledge may become more apparent through these practices. The jury process for this exhibition mimicked these collective validations of knowledge by allowing applicants to serve as a pool of experts who then collaboratively determined which work would be included through anonymous written reviews. Displaying the review statements alongside the works lends transparency to the overall process and provides insight into the ways that knowledge is constructed. This show at once values and critiques this process, leaving the viewer to wonder what it is, exactly, to know.
Jeanie Austin, Maria Lux, and Nicki Werner
The peer-review process is complete and selections have been made, resulting in a collection of art and writing that we are excited to share with the public at Figure One as well as here on this blog.
Thank you again to everyone who who submitted work, and in particular for the excellent reviews that each participant submitted. Through this unique jurying process, a great deal of interesting critical discussion was generated and, whether selected for inclusion or not, each person’s work was given careful attention by their peers.
Over the next few weeks, the blog will be changing in order to reflect the work that is included in the exhibition, some of the commentary derived from the peer-review process, and updates to proposals, performances, and installations.
Details: All submissions are archival inkjet prints, 20″x28″ (could be 30″x40″ if space allows). Image 1 from 2010 and the others are from 2011.
Looking has become the primary way that we know and experience our natural heritage. We can never really know a pristine natural environment because the act of allowing access necessarily disturbs the untouched state of the area. The compromise is designated viewpoints and heavily controlled and mediated experiences within a few hundred feet of a parking lot easily accessible by a paved road. Does this compromise disrupt the experience or make it possible?
Arnold’s work fits well within the themes of the show as he is addressing the way in which we receive and process information. While focusing on personal knowledge, Arnold also highlights the mediation of our reception of particular information by photographing designated “scenic” spots along the highway.
Commenting on the controlled way we experience our natural and untouched environments makes sense. Because of the limitations put on state and national parks, our relationships and connections to them are artificially minimized or altered. This will inevitably effect our perceptions, memories and understanding of them and nature. Arnold is covering relevant and interesting ideas that are solidly expressed through these impressive and valid photographs.
Spaces that conflate the illusory and the actual are of great interest to me. A motel room, a child’s fort, a movie screen and a painting all exist as parts of the physical world, yet receive and are characterized by our projected desires and psychic understandings. Such spaces could also serve as metaphors for the bulk of individual and cultural knowledge we carry around daily. A constant negotiation—between subject and object, ideal and real—shapes the middle ground we regard as “truth.”
The idea of fantasy and dream spaces like forts, tents and pools as a representation of a certain kind of ideal is interesting. While these spaces seem compromised (somehow deflated?) in Flood’s representation, their shortcomings lend a kind of charm to the concept that a more refined vision may destroy. The nature of whimsy is so incongruent with the concepts of truth or objective fact that I can’t help feel the piece’s general presence would lend a counterpoint to more considered or serious work seeking to locate specific contradictions regarding knowledge. Formally, I appreciate this artist’s use of texture, her dynamic structures and range of mediums. I think the pure invention of this work will challenge the concept of knowing, offering raw experience as an evocative alternative.
Flood uses space both physically and metaphorically to address the ways that we disseminate and compartmentalize knowledge. Her work is reminiscent of painting, but her use of ephemeral materials question the formal qualities associated with traditional painting. Her work seems heavily involved in current popular discourses surrounding things, objects, and how they mediate our everyday lives. This work validates a specific way of compartmentalizing information by addressing the act of knowing/experience through the spaces we inhabit. This piece engages with current post-modern discourses surrounding the anti-aesthetic.
Space is often thought about in terms of measurement. We condense, simplify and create symbols to stand in for space and distance, such as a map or a floor plan, because it then becomes objective. What interests me about a given space is not the objective information but rather my own subjective perception of the environment. I experience various emotions and physical reactions based upon the type of space I am in and how my body is able to interact with it. These paintings do depict a specific place but they are more a record of my perception of a place. This perception came through viewing the space in a reflective surface which distorted the image and provided an exciting, somewhat surreal experience.
If knowing is seeing, Gilles’ work makes the viewer re-evaluate the space occupied. Making one look at something one is familiar with in a new light. Her desire to give the viewer a glimpse of her subjective viewpoint ties well into the theme of how we all see things, and therefore how we all come to know things. By depicting space through a reflection one can certainly agree that her perspective is unique, and each person viewing a space will not see it in the same way.
I think these pieces are beautiful. The artist is clear about the representative spaces she is discussing in a very visually poetic way. The artist is creating a space as seen through a reflection and then poetically preserving this experience in a painting.