Tuesday, September 23, 2014
UNCC 2014 Department of Art & Art History Biennial Review
In cultures steeped in Christianity, Ecce Homicidium's narrative has been widely depicted throughout history, symbolic of the suffering that humans repeatedly inflict on one another. The crown, a motif for the prickly issue of gun rights, hovering over a semi-automatic pistol might symbolize the divine and legal right to weapon ownership. Proponents of gun control might interpret this as sarcastic ridicule from David Broduer.
It is interesting to note that the sculptural aspect of clay lends itself to a more personal application. Professor Williams's installation took inspiration from the process of becoming a United States citizen. Her fingerprint acts as a simulacra of the individual transformed into topographical maps and 3D landscapes. The recent loss of a loved one infuses the work of lecturer Keith Bryant. The finality of black-tinted concrete and the diminishing, house-shaped wooden polygon are reminiscent of rising flood water. Both materials are traditional elements of a building's foundation underscoring the home and its importance as a sanctuary from the elements. It also evokes the roles of householders in sustaining, financing, and maintaining the structure (usually within a selected group i.e. family or roommates.) The material speaks to constrained resources while simultaneously referencing the isolation and detachment of an individual within a group. Ceramic aprons allude to women's roles as child-bearers, homemakers, and allude to the fruit of the womb with luscious transfers of ripe cherries, emblematic of virginity. The timely topic of student rape on campus and the embattled reproductive rights of women is kindling for Shelley Sloan Ellis. The schizophrenic concept of what encompasses ceramic art is most visible in the design work of Thomas Schmidt and collaborator Jeff Stephen Miller whose fusion of recycled shards of porcelain are embedded within melted aluminum. The orchestration of materials is a matrix into which craft, art, and design are infused. Professor Susan Brenner channels the cacophony of incessant political and social media coverage into colorful abstract works that embody the tangible clutter and detritus of modern life. Technology and nature collide as Prof. Michael Simpson attempts to capture a single moment in time. This work explores the millisecond and the frame-by-frame aspect of animation as well as the speed with which the human brain can understand and process information. As a student of both the painting and ceramic departments, I was immensely interested in the offerings of the faculty within my disciplines. The ability to gauge the technical and conceptual mastery of individuals is helpful in selecting advisors and also either justifies or calls into question the principles participating instructors present within the studio setting.