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Presented by PLAySPACE and curated by Lauren R. O'Connell, Activating Site presents five artists whose work puts forward alternative narratives of site by engaging its conditions through their own actions.
Site could traditionally be defined as the location of a physical structure, or a place where a particular event has occurred.
One can recognize readily apparent conditions of a site through its physical presence or historical importance, but how does one perceive conditions that are less visible or absent altogether?
In this exhibition, site can exist in a physical location, but also through ephemeral moments, such as childhood memories and family vacation videos (Jennifer Klecker), or within the stories and histories of displaced and diasporic people (Laura Arminda Kingsley).
Each work embodies a performative quality. In some cases, the artist locates a site by accentuating forgotten or nonexistent elements through subtle gestures (Maral Hashemi), or by enabling the material of the artwork to acclimate itself to the physical and climatic constraints of a place (Jay Atherton).
Others use symbols and language to draw attention to socio-political issues that are often overlooked due to everyday routine (Omar Mismar).
These works suggest an expansion of the art-site relationship and propose a dynamic reconsideration of the permanence of site.
In this exhibition, site does not determine the artwork, but rather the artwork acknowledges the subtle conditions of the site, whether present or absent.
Laura Arminda Kingsley
PLAySPACE, The Paulette Long and Shepard Pollack Art Community Experiment, is a graduate student-run exhibition program. It provides the resources for student curators to conceptualize and present programming that is especially appropriate for, and oriented towards, the academic community. This programming is presented in various venues and locations throughout the community.