Although beautiful, skillfully composed, and aesthetically satisfying, the exhibition goes beyond the shallowness of profane ‘art object’ designed for collecting. “Indian Time” resonants a sacrosanct tonality.
Murff himself, as a political photographer, has waded into the world of the fine art look. In his most notable series of photographs thus far, Corrections, he depicted not only the relics of daily life of youth let out of jail or prison but youths who, still in the juvenile justice system, have to wear anklets tracking them. At first the beautiful surface and the serious demeanor made me wonder, more propaganda?
For the past few seasons, artists, aware that parlor game intellectualism of contemporary art is not working anymore, have increasingly enlisted animals to help them communicate in a more instinctual way. Charley Friedman’s squirrel project is one of the most engaging, ongoing examples of this genre.
As a native Omahan and lover of arts and culture, I’ve come to realize that both memorable and authentic experiences within the arts do not always lie in white-walled art institutions or alongside historical landmarks.
With a wink, a smile, a firm middle finger, and maybe an ‘I told you so’ shrug, Council Bluffs/ Omaha-based, internationally exhibiting Bart Vargas is asking America to reexamine its birth certificate.
And yet, in a strange way, Johnson’s work, while situated with some orientation to the space, is not “installed” to interact with the space... Having marked out his space, Johnson’s work seems to turn its back on objective space and inhabit a counter-space in which art has crawled into itself to muse on life by way of material means inside of itself.
What does it mean to make an image in a language that lacks a word for one? How then do we archive, remember and hold onto images? How are images manufactured and who is manufacturing them if their very definition eludes us?
Thought experiment. If you are lucky enough to stop by Fiendish Plots space in west Lincoln to see Molly Zuckerman-Hartung’s dazzling one-person show, when you step in the door, don’t look at the paintings, but at the spaces between them.
As a whole, Travelers & Settlers, for me, read as an elegiac litany to sacred space reclaimed from the pushes and pulls of modern history, with the artist acting as guider of souls, urging us to gain a deeper appreciation of the unspoken realities of cultural translation, and, beyond all that, arrive safely again at our common humanity.
Omaha-based artist Heather Johanson is known for her meticulous drawings, moody photographs, and diverse habitat installations. Contributor Alex Priest sits down with Heather on New Year's Eve to discuss her practice, anxiety, the Anthropocene, and interconnectedness.
I think the artist's intention is for us as viewers to remove ourselves from the third-person point of view and, instead, try to experience it from a child’s first-person point of view -- with innocence and without judgement.