Critical Mass for the Visual Arts: 2015 Creative Stimulus Award
Opening November 18 – Closing December 18
Curator: David Johnson
Fractured Tranquility is an exhibition highlighting Saint Louis’ Critical Mass for the Visual Art 2015 Creative Stimulus Awardees: Megan Grubb, William Morris, and Brett Williams at the Millstone Gallery at Center of Creative Arts. This exhibition breaks down commonplace experiences as such the family vacation, music, and passages, with works created following the announcement of this award. As the artist’s exercise unfolds, each work gives the viewer a glimpse into the underlying complexity or formation anxiety during mundane experiences. Ultimately, the work within the gallery setting causes guest to have an alternate experience when considering their own awareness of the familiar.
Grubb’s work in this exhibition uncovers the creative process for a realized installation entitled Transitional Structures for Groundlessness, which was on display at The Wassaic Project in Wassaic New York this summer. The selection of sketches, raw materials, neon light, and video documentation discuss the site-specific work. Transitional Structures for Groundlessness provides examinations of Grubb’s “ongoing creative research addressing physical and psychological aspects of wayfinding and disorientation… I have investigated these ideas by mapping and categorizing characteristics of personal anxiety experiences, and suggesting relationships between situation, physical symptoms, beliefs, and fears.”
A video piece by Morris depicts the American West, with visuals of theme parks, the horizon looking just past the interstate and the Las Vegas strip during a vacation in the mid-1970s. The work composed of super eight footage, shot by the artist’s mother, is overlapped, double exposed and disjointed. Complementing the visuals a melancholy three-piece score that creates a surreal version of the family vacation experience. Morris’ interest in image-making technology and the alchemy of electronics are useful tools in highlighting his interest in memory, or rather the failure of remembrance. Morris’ writes, “I’ve always been interested in subjective (versus objective) reality… I realized that I am often more interested in framing what is elided by subjects in their process of interpreting reality (and video artists in their choice and treatment of their subjects). What people choose not to focus on? What ends up on the cutting floor of memory?””
William’s kinetic sculpture makes use of electronic servos connected to metallic cylinders to create Rube Goldberg-esque percussion machine. William’s vast influences such as advertisement media, music (hip-hop and punk), hacker culture, comedy and contemporary art are acknowledged in this pleasantly candid and self-playing sculpture. Just as the Williams’ work speaks to humor or comedic timing there is an under tone to the sculptures as the artist states about his work, “The sculptures bear the artifice of masculinity, serving as metaphors for the myth of masculinity. They are large, loud and capable of filling space with sound and presence. They are wood and metal that clank and bang. Motors keep a steady rhythm as a drummer would, but the microphone flails or hangs listlessly like a flaccid penis.”