Exhibition Review: The co-cureate shows 2017

Implicate OrderCross WiresHomework PlayConscious SplinterAccidental RacistPlease do not spit in the gardenConscious SplinterWaiting RoomWaiting Room

“A hybrid of collaboration, curating, and creation”

by Aika Kimura

Student-curated exhibitions, the co-cureate show 2017, presented by MFA and BFA students run from September 29th through October 17th at Mason Gross Galleries in New Brunswick. Student curators selected artworks from 53 artists and created seven mini exhibitions based on their concepts.

#1. Implicate Order     

In the main room, 10 artists express the universal connectivity in their works. The curators, Rachel Bottcher and Dori Miler are inspired from David Bohm’s theory of the implicate order. Bottcher explained, “even though the things you see are separated from each other, they are still connected by particles.” Bottcher wanted to see how all the artist’s individual pieces were going to be connected to each other in one gallery space. “Implicate order focuses more on the spaces rather than objects themselves,” she explained. All negative spaces in the show have an important meaning as the implication of the universal connectivity.

#2. Cross Wires

A man in a video work is playing a musical instrument. It looks like a cello, but I’m not sure because the video is incomplete. This experience implies their concept, “mis/communication.” The curators selected international artists for the show to express their experience of mis/communication in the US. One of the artists created lights with dry vegetables. She thinks of eating as a form of communication because it is a way of interacting with one’s environment. In addition, this show displays various media such as video, installation, photographs and sounds. People enjoy having communication and miscommunication throughout their lives in different ways.  

#3. Homework Play

Six artists express “playfulness,” and “cuteness,” but ironically. One piece is about images from an English textbook. They look like they create one story. However, they do not make any sense because the artist cut some parts and changed its order. The other video works created by Beatrice Orlandi and her sisters are scary rather than cute. “playfulness or cuteness is harmless, but they can suddenly become totally scary or aggressive,” Orlandi said.

#4. Conscious Splinter

This show displays artworks referencing layers. On the one hand, paintings show different color layers. On the other hand, sculptures show physical layers. Beautiful layers attract me. I come close to the artwork for clarity, but it doesn’t give it. And then, I come back further, but still nothing. The curator Sarina Aquino said, “these artworks do not allow viewers to complete understanding. There is a relationship to viewers. How they engage in a work is really interesting about working with layers.”

#5. Accidental Racist

“You should be ashamed.” This is the strong message from Sedrick Chisom and Yu Rim Chung. Rim displays an email she got from a school director. It says, “since you are an international student….,” but Rim is not an international student. She came to the US when she was 1 year old. She said, they assumed she was an international student from her Korean name, but her national identity is Korean American. Even though her professor did not mean to be racist, “accidental racism does not make any difference,” she said. All artworks do not directly express racism, but they imply it in a subtle way. But therefore, they seem to carefully reflect the “accidental racist” in our daily life.

#6. Please do not spit in the garden

This room, filled with green lights and the smell of flowers, displays a magazine. Martha. The artist Beatrice Orlandi curated texts from various artists. Some of them were poems and the others were parts of a book. Although most of the artists in the magazine are Rutgers students, curators selected some international artists too. This room was inspired by texts referencing gardens and flowers.

#7. Waiting Room

Curator Delfina Picchio describes, “we work with two spectacles of scales, really big and small objects.” They display familiar objects in unusual scales in the “Waiting Room”. These objects are a manifestation of fears and anxiety by representing them in a playful way. A giant flashlight projects an image of a woman eating spaghetti. Artist Carlyn Perlow said her works were associated with self-examination. It represents her consumer lifestyle, not only in physical consumption but also media consumption. “It’s a representation of how much I am consuming and what I am consuming.” Meanwhile, Picchio creates miniature clay models. She put her fear and anxiety into her small clay models to make her feelings controllable. There is a newspaper on a small desk. “Opening the newspaper is a struggle these days. This empty seat is just kind of the sad, sad spot of where we are today with the news and our society’s relationship to it,” she said.