Positive/Negative 30 Open and Uncanny Valley
I am grateful to have been invited to be a juror for the 30th Annual Positive/Negative National Juried Art Exhibition. The aesthetic and conceptual content, formal concerns, and craftsmanship of the submissions were vast and varied, and I was pleased to encounter so many visually compelling works. Given my specialization in postwar Japanese avant-garde practices that defy sculptural conventions, I was immediately drawn to artists whose work exhibited an uncanny sensibility and ambiguity between language and the everyday object. This interest extended not only to sculpture, but also to visual experimentations that engage, subvert or alter standard modes of perception in painting, photography, works on paper, mixed media/collage, digital media, and animation. Some examples include images that triggered a visceral response beyond iconographic representation reflecting Surrealist strategies of doubling, an awareness of the phenomenological body in Minimalist, Process and Post-minimalist practices, and new immersive experiences in digital media.
The works in the Slocumb Galleries are selected under the umbrella theme, Uncanny Valley, coined in 1970 by a robotics professor referring to the simultaneous experience of repulsion and attraction felt from robots exhibiting human likeness. In this vein, the groupings that I have selected emerge from works that generate lines of ambiguity between actual and virtual reality. These groupings include magic realism (objects exhibiting an integrated faculty for craft and matter); poetics/politics (intersection of political and personal narratives); neo-geometries/architectonics (structural fragments conjuring lived spaces) and transitional materials and landscapes (familial things that have been transformed into extra-ordinary objects and spaces).
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculptural Garden
Positive/Negative 30 Open & Uncanny Valley - Best of Show: Alison Gates, WI
PN 30: Open
Maude Andrade, NM
|PN30: Uncanny Valley
February 9 to March 6, 2015
@ Slocumb Galleries
Mark Grote, CA - Honorable Mention