Mov­ing ex­hibits con­front cur­rent is­sues

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - ARTS -

The Martha and Robert Fo­gel­man Gal­leries of Con­tem­po­rary Art launch the new ex­hi­bi­tion sea­son with a pair of shows that ap­proach two con­tem­po­rary is­sues. The first, from Chilean-born, Hous­ton-based artist Ro­drigo Valen­zuela, is “Fron­tiers,” and the con­cerns are bor­ders and fences, alien land­scapes, ex­ile and the hunger for work and pros­per­ity. The sec­ond, “In­fox­i­ca­tion,” deals with no­tions of in­for­ma­tion over­load and the per­va­sive na­ture of au­dio and vis­ual tech­nol­ogy and so­cial me­dia in con­tem­po­rary cul­ture. The artist is Ruben Gar­nica, a re­cent bach­e­lor of fine arts grad­u­ate from the Univer­sity of Mem­phis who was awarded this solo ex­hi­bi­tion by vote of the art depart­ment fac­ulty.

With the as­cen­dency of Don­ald Trump to the po­si­tion of Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent, the idea of some kind of im­per­me­able fence along the border be­tween the United States and Mex­ico and the de­mo­niza­tion of Mex­i­can im­mi­grants have gained avid cur­rency. What is for­got­ten in these con­tro­ver­sies Ro­drigo Valen­zuela, “Fron­tiers,” through oct. 14. Ruben Gar­nica, “In­fox­i­ca­tion,” through Sept. 9. Martha and Robert Fo­gel­man Gal­leries of Con­tem­po­rary Art, univer­sity of Mem­phis, Art & Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Build­ing, 3715 Cen­tral. Call 901-678-3052, or visit mem­ fo­gel­man­gal­leries. is that the un­doc­u­mented peo­ple who cross the border are hu­man be­ings, not anony­mous or in­her­ently dan­ger­ous for­eign­ers, who more of­ten than not are flee­ing poverty or vi­o­lence pro­pelled by cor­rup­tion and drug wars.

Valen­zuela ad­dresses these is­sues in a spare and deeply mov­ing ex­hi­bi­tion that con­sists of two videos and four two-di­men­sional pieces on can­vas or, in one in­stance, on dry­wall. The lat­ter works — toner, acrylic and chalk in shades of gray — chart des­o­late, desert-like land­scapes in which those who jour­ney across them would be lost and hope­less. The bar­ren

(Wkno Dig­i­tal Me­dia Cen­ter), Cor­dova: Bill Car­rier: My Fa­vorite Im­ages,” Mon­day through Sept. 29. open­ing re­cep­tion 5-7 p.m. Sept. 9. Pho­tog­ra­phy. 901-458-2521. David Lusk GalleryMem­phis, 97 till­man: ham­lett Dob­bins: “I Will have to tell you Every­thing” and Peter Flem­ing: “Pre­served,” In­stal­la­tion view, Ruben Gar­nica: In­fox­i­ca­tion, Aug. 22-Sept. 9, 2016, the Martha and Robert Fo­gel­man Gal­leries of Con­tem­po­rary Art.

na­ture of the ge­og­ra­phy, bi­sected by chalk lines with the rigid­ity of a map, seems to mir­ror the strug­gle for op­por­tu­nity and the empti­ness of pos­si­bil­ity. The largest of these works, at 8-by-12-feet, was a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the artist and 100 U of M stu­dents over a three-day work­shop; Valen­zuela do­nated it to the gallery.

The most af­fect­ing of the videos is the blackand-white “Di­a­mond Box,” slightly longer than four min­utes. Valen­zuela in­ter­viewed work­ers wait­ing

through oct. 8. open­ing 6-8 p.m. Fri­day. talk at 11 a.m. Sept. 17. Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. tues­day through Fri­day, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Satur­day. 901-767-3800. david­ Mem­phis Botanic Gar­den, 750 Cherry Road in Audubon Park: Katie Maish: “La­bor,” Fri­day through oct. 1 in Vis­i­tors Cen­ter Gallery.

to pick up odd jobs in a Home De­pot park­ing lot and asked them — pay­ing them an hourly rate — to talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences cross­ing the border and with the border pa­trol. (The artist him­self was an un­doc­u­mented worker in the United States.) The cam­era fo­cuses on the sad and weary faces of the men as their words scroll across the bot­tom of the screen.

Across the cor­ri­dor — the Fo­gel­man Gal­leries are di­vided into two large spa­ces — Gar­nica’s “In­fox­i­ca­tion” presents

open­ing re­cep­tion 2-4 p.m. Sept. 11. Lois Pittman: “Won­ders of heaven and Earth,” Fri­day through Sept. 28 in Fratelli’s Cafe Gallery. Land­scape paint­ings. 901-6364100. Na­tional or­na­men­tal Metal Mu­seum, 374 Metal Mu­seum Drive: “Mas­ter Me­tal­smith: hoss ha­ley,” Sun­day through Dec. 30. Sculp­tures. Re­cep­tion

an en­tirely dif­fer­ent aura than the stark dis­play in “Fron­tiers.” The term is a syn­onym for “in­for­ma­tion over­load” but means not merely an in­un­da­tion of data but the in­abil­ity to make ra­tio­nal de­ci­sions be­cause of the per­va­sive de­bil­i­tat­ing abun­dance. In the dark­ened gallery, the two “Mi­tote” pieces stand out in a glow­ing, puls­ing pas­tel ra­di­ance, coral-like sea crea­tures. Com­posed of PVC, LED lights and con­cealed speak­ers, the var­i­ous tubes is­sue con­stant mur­murs that over­lay one

and Gallery talk, 5 p.m. Sept. 24. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. tues­day through Satur­day, noon-5 p.m. Sun­day; closed Mon­days. 901774-6380. metal­mu­ RS An­tiques & Art, 700 S. Men­den­hall (next to half Shell): Phyl­lis Boger: “Fabri­cadabra” silk paint­ings, through Sept. 30. Artist re­cep­tion 5-8 p.m. Fri­day. Bil­lie Dove pro­vides the Ruben Gar­nica, “Mi­tote I,” 2016. PVC, LED lights, and speak­ers. 90-by-36 inches. Cour­tesy of the artist. From “In­fox­i­ca­tion” at the Fo­gel­man Gal­leries.

another, as if the viewer were at a party (“mi­tote” means noise, party or gos­sip) and sub­ject to a re­lent­less, con­fus­ing hub­bub. The effect is much stronger at this al­most sub­lim­i­nal level than if the speak­ers were blast­ing out bar­rages of deci­bels.

“In­fox­i­ca­tion,” a form of in­tox­i­ca­tion, I sup­pose, in­cludes sev­eral other pieces and a strik­ing video pro­jected through bul­bous glass tow­ers that cre­ate shad­ows and re­flec­tions on the wall. Al­to­gether, this ex­hi­bi­tion and Valen­zuela’s “Fron­tiers,” each ex­ist­ing at the bound­aries of their con­cerns, cre­ate their own kind of bril­liance and hyp­notic beauty.

mu­sic. hours: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. week­days; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Satur­day; noon-4 p.m. Sun­day, and by ap­point­ment. 901-4178315. South­side Gallery, 150 Court­house Square, ox­ford, Miss.: “night Sun,” through Sept. 10. Artists’ re­cep­tion 6-8 p.m. thurs­day. Group ex­hi­bi­tion cu­rated by Philip R. Jack­son. 662-234-9090.

Photo By Juan Rojo

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