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August 21, 2006
Contact: Deborah Baum
(401) 863-2476

September 9 through October 22
Ten Artists Present Installations at Bell Gallery and List Art Center

The David Winton Bell Gallery and Brown University’s Department of Visual Art present in TRANSIT: from OBJECT to SITE, from Saturday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006, at Brown University. The collaborative exhibition features a series of installations displayed throughout List Art Center, transforming the modernist architecture of Philip Johnson’s 1971 building into a lively space of diverse multimedia and site-based projects.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. —The David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University and the University’s Department of Visual Art present in TRANSIT: from OBJECT to SITE, featuring 10 installations by established and emerging artists displayed throughout List Art Center. The collaborative exhibition runs from Saturday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006, with an opening reception Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. In addition, the Bell Gallery is organizing a one-day symposium on installation art on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006. All events are free and open to the public.


Xavier Veilhan: Mobile (2004-06)
Plastic, paint, aluminum, nylon. (Courtesy of Sandra Gering Gallery New York)

The Bell Gallery features a four-part exhibition, with an installation by renowned American artist Fred Wilson in the main gallery; a piece by French artist Xavier Veilhan in the lobby; an outdoor sculptural work by New York artist Sharon Louden; and a video installation on the second floor by Chilean artist Magaly Ponce. The Department of Visual Art invited three artists: Peggy Diggs, whose installation will be displayed in the second floor gallery; Laura Evans, who will present her installation in the north stairwell; and subRosa, a feminist performance group that will create the performance piece on hospitality, Love Is Strong as Death: A Convivial Feast, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2006, from 7 to 9 p.m. Additionally, professors Marlene Malik and Leslie Bostrom invited three alumnae from the Department of Visual Art – Arlene Chung, Hilary Leewong and Nico Wheadon – to present their work inside and outside of List Art Center. The artists invited by the Department of Visual Art are sponsored in part by Brown’s Creative Arts Council.

“The aim of this large group exhibition is by no means to present an overview of installations, but rather to introduce a range of current practices used in this mainstream artistic tendency,” said Vesela Sretenovic, curator of the Bell Gallery. “The title in TRANSIT: from OBJECT to SITE, stresses the significant transition in contemporary art from a traditional object, i.e., painting or sculpture, to a specific site or space – geographical, phenomenological, social, institutional, public, discursive or even cyber – and consequently a transition in experiencing the work of art from looking at it to being in it.”


Magaly Ponce: Subject, Horizon, Reflection (2006)
Still image taken from a six-projector installation: one live camera, three DVDs, two interactive computer-generated videos. (Courtesy of the David Winton Bell Gallery)

In conjunction with the festival of exhibitions, the Bell Gallery is organizing a one–day symposium that will aim to provide both a historical context and a platform for critical examination of installation art. The participants are well-known scholars and curators who will discuss theoretical and practical aspects of installations. Julie H. Reiss (Christie’s Education) will discuss the origin of installations and concepts crucial to its understanding, such as the environment and the role of the spectator. Erika Suderburg (University of California–Riverside) will address the presence of film, video and light projections in installations. Ondine Chavoya (Williams College) will explore the notions of social activism and public interventions. Anne Pasternak (Creative Time) will introduce innovative public art projects and Bill Arning (MIT List Art Center) will examine how installations function within a museum setting and the curatorial issues in exhibiting, collecting and maintaining this type of artwork. The symposium, sponsored by the Marshall Woods Lectureships Foundation of Fine Arts, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the List Art Center Auditorium.

Featured Artists

  • Fred Wilson’s installation in the Bell Gallery space, My Shadow, My Eco and Me, features nine works all made of blown glass. Although functioning as individual pieces, the works – Viscous Risk, Chandelier Mori, First Spurt, Dark Down, Black Memory and Black Present – are interrelated, creating a unifying walk-through space. Wilson is best known for his site-specific exhibitions, such as the groundbreaking exhibition Mining the Museum at the Maryland Historical Society, in which he re-contextualized objects and artifacts from various museums’ collections, thereby changing their traditional meanings and interpretations.  Wilson’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Contemporary Art Museum in Houston; the Venice Biennale; the Whitney Biennial in New York; and the International Cairo Biennale.
  • Xavier Veilhan’s installation, Mobile, is comprised of 50 spheres in varying sizes, suspended from the ceiling of the List Art Center lobby. Fabricated in plastic (according to the artist’s computer generated renderings) and with a matte black finish, the full-volume spheres activate the lobby in a way that is “neither obstructive nor purely decorative,” said Sretenovic. Veilhan is one of the most prominent contemporary artists in France, who lives and works in Paris. His work employs a wide range of media from traditional practices of photography, printmaking, painting and sculpture to innovative digitally based production, computer simulation and filmmaking. Veilhan has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States, including at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Le Magasin in Grenoble; Barbican in London; Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona; and in New York City at the Jewish Museum, National Academy Museum, and Sandra Gering Gallery.
  • Magaly Ponce’s video installation Subject, Horizon, Reflection spans the entire hallway on the second floor of the List Art Center. Six video projections of horizon, shadows, reflections and blurred figures/subjects are projected on different walls and in between the elevators creating an encompassing space in which the imagery of vast unknown landscapes, merges with those of water, sunlight, people and their reflections. Ponce is a Chilean-born video and installation artist who currently lives in Providence and teaches new media at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. Her work has been exhibited widely in her home country, as well as in Denmark, Korea, Turkey and the United States, including at the Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, and the Saint Louis University Museum in St. Louis; the America Fest and the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles; the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.; and most recently at inSite_05 in Tijuana and San Diego.
  • Sharon Louden’s outdoor installation Faires is situated on the lawn facing the main entrance to the List Art Center. More than 200,000 feet of black tie-wire is arranged into an organic configuration that elegantly merges with its natural setting. Within theses piles of raw wire, thousands of small, flickering “lights” (reflective sheeting imbedded in the piles of wire) absorb and reflect the constantly changing light from its surrounding, creating a magical lighting field. Louden is a New York-based artist who works in numerous media, from drawing and painting to sculpture, installation and mostly recently video animation. Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Conn.; the Drawing Center in New York; Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh; Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.; and most recently the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y.
  • Peggy Diggs’ installation Resolution Room, presented in the second floor gallery of the List Art Center, captures the physical and visual aspects of the resolution process, which Sretenovic calls “the key to human understanding and communication.” It consists of a circular pathway with two straight paths intersecting at the circle's center. The circular pathway is covered with sand, while the intersecting paths are covered by large rocks, except for a few feet at the exact point of intersection. The remaining spaces of the room are occupied by glasses of water, “items often present at negotiations, providing solace for the voice. Hence, Resolution Room may function on two levels: as a metaphor of conflict resolution or as an actual space for resolving conflict.” Diggs is best known for her activist and public art projects oriented toward social justice and marginalized groups. Her public art installations include the interactive project Here and Then currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass.; Make Do at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina–Greensboro; Recollection for Wave Hill in the Bronx; and Finding Home in Chicago. She has also done projects in Boston and other American cities, as well as in Canada and Venezuela.
  • Laura Evans’ installation Sinuendo is displayed in the north stairwell of the List Art Center. It consists of two main parts: a large mass of curling yellow forms clutched together and suspended from the ceiling, and multiple snaking forms made from painted pipes, coated wire, soft fabric forms, and flexible plastic tubing that emerge at different levels throughout the stairwell. It is in this sense that the installation bares the name Sinuendo, referring to a Latin word that means dance rhythm but also serpentine forms and sinuous movement. Evans lives and works in Boston. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and groups exhibitions mostly on the East Coast, including at O.K. Harris Works of Art in New York; and in Boston at Howard Yezerski Gallery, Barbara Krakow, Mills Gallery, and Harbor Gallery, University of Massachusetts Galleries.
  • subRosa’s Love is Strong as Death: A Convivial Feast is a performance of hosting on the List Art Center terrace. Modeled on the tradition of Plato’s Symposium, as well as on bell hooks’ and other feminists’ notions of hospitality and collaboration, the performance functions as a site for critical conviviality, addressing the ideas about politics of friendship, especially those between women. subRosa is a feminist art collective (Faith Wilding and Hyla Willis), committed to producing artworks, activist campaigns and projects, publications, media interventions, and public forums that explore the effects of new information and biotechnologies on women’s bodies, lives, and work. While the name subRosa honors feminist pioneers in art, activism, labor, science, and politics: Rosa Bonheur, Rosa Luxemburg, Rosie the Riveter, Rosa Parks and Rosie Franklin, the collective’s practices focus on “art of social relations developed around critical issues of feminist concern.”
  • Arlene Chung’s installation Untitled (The Legacy of Gaetan Dugas) in the interior lobby of List Art Center consists of hundreds of syringes with needles suspended from the ceiling alluding to human conditions of disease and medical protection, illness and recovery. Chung graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 2006 with a concentration in neuroscience. She is currently a medical student at New York University.
  • Hilary Leewong’s installation Pasa is made of sugar, sugar substitutes, paper, PVC piping and fishing wire, and is displayed on the north lawn of List Art Center. By using organic, perishable substances and more sturdy industrial materials, she questions, in her own words, “what is artificial and what is real,” and “how we construct a nation,” on real or artificial grounds. Leewong graduated from Brown in 2006, concentrating in art semiotics and with honors in English literature.
  • Nico Wheadon’s interactive installation Soft Mathematics: Numbers Revisited, presented in the second floor video room, is comprised of sound objects activated by touch and wall text taken from the artist’s own fictional writings inspired by the Dewey Decimal System. Dwelling on the sensual, soft aspects of numbers or mathematics, Soft Mathematics “revisits the numbers” via words, objects and sound creating multisensory environment in which the viewers are engaged in the experience of touching, reading and listening. Wheadon graduated from Brown in 2006, with an honors degree in art-semiotics and capstone honors in literary arts.

The David Winton Bell Gallery, located on the first floor of List Art Center, 64 College St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 401/ 863-2932.