Embracing Winter

 

 

 

The Warehouse Gallery

February 13 – March 31, 2007

 

Playful, interactive exhibition of knitted sculpture, psychedelic video,
sly photography, crisp audio works by American, Canadian, Italian artists


Staging the coldest season as a playground for imagination, The Warehouse Gallery presents Embracing Winter, a group exhibition featuring knitted sculpture, psychedelic video, interactive displays, sly photography, and crisp audio and book works by American, Canadian and Italian artists. The show is on view Feb. 13 through March 31 and accompanied by a Hot Cocoa Reception on Feb. 15, Lunchtime Talks by exhibition artists and an earth scientist on Feb. 16, and an Experimental Film Screening on March 8.

“As technology advances, our concept of physical comfort becomes increasingly narrow and artificially mediated,” remarks gallery director Astria Suparak. “We can program thermostats to the degree, swim in heated pools in the winter, and ice skate in tropical regions. We prefer to encounter the seasons as an aesthetic experience, when convenient, within the self-created myth of a weatherless society. Traces of snowfall are quickly removed from city streets while windows remain decorated with impossibly gigantic paper snowflakes.” As Mirko Zardini of the Canadian Centre for Architecture writes, “Forgetting the climate, ignoring it, or trying to eliminate it from urban reality and our imagination not only deprives us of the pleasure of different seasons, which foster agreeable as well as disagreeable situations and conditions, but inevitably leads to unexpected confrontations with the more dramatic consequences of weather.”

Syracuse is the perennial winner of the Golden Snowball Award, for the most snowfall in New York State. Embracing Winter celebrates this crystallized precipitation as the key to a delightful set of activities, and as an ephemeral filter to make ordinary surroundings new again.

  • Janet Morton is knitting a model of her home in Guelph, Ontario, in time for the exhibition reception. Also in the show are Morton’s absurdly large, 15-foot-long handmade mitten and a tree branch sculpture frosted with lace. Her prolific body of work, including cozies for buildings and sweaters for sub-Saharan animals in Canadian zoos, spurs consideration of human excess, perceived needs, imposed aesthetics, and the value of time and repetitive labor. “The intent has been to playfully transform objects, critically examining impulses of anthropomorphization taken to extremes, misplaced sentimentality and control of nature,” Morton explains.
  • Rudy Shepherd, wearing a brown bear costume sewn by his mother, tromps in a New England winter scene. The casual, immediate air of a snapshot in these large photographs belies heavier implications. Selected from a series titled Ursa Major Contemplating the Meaning of the Universe, Shepherd’s performative work questions the meaning of home, the idea of comfort, the structures of transcultural and collective identity, and assumptions based
    on facades.
  • Italian Futurist Bruno Munari’s children’s book, Little White Riding Hood, shows there is substance in seemingly empty pages if one is inventive enough. The International Herald Tribune claims, “Munari is one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Not because he has imposed a particular style or look, but because he has encouraged people to go beyond formal conventions and stereotypes by showing them how to widen their
    perceptual awareness.”
  • New York State transplant Takeshi Murata pushes the boundaries of animation and psychedelia with sophisticated code-based image processing. In the hypnotic video installation Monster Movie, a B-movie yeti decomposes and reconstitutes 30 times per second, becoming a seething, digital morass of color and form. “Murata’s particular genius is an almost alchemical ability to transform forgotten relics of pop culture into dazzling jewels,” comments Artforum.
  • Available in a listening station as well as on the gallery’s website, Collin Olan’s delicate audio piece encapsulates the melting process of contact microphones frozen inside a block of ice. A tiny picture of an awe-inspiring, voluptuously iced landscape from a family camping trip in the Midwest accompanies the recording.
  • “In these familiar spaces, transformed in winter not only by a blanket of snow but also by a state of inactivity, we are offered glimpses of the sublime,” says Lisa M. Robinson about her photographic series Snowbound. The selected images pristinely capture a moment in time while pointing to the cycle
    of seasons.

Amidst these artists’ works, The Warehouse Gallery has produced interactive and informative displays. Visitors can compare their heights against a full-scale graph charting the snowfall in Syracuse over the last half century. Free samples are provided of de-icing agents that are less damaging to the environment than the conventionally used salt. A presentation of locally purchased snow shovels was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s 1915 readymade In Advance of the Broken Arm. As a munificent reversal of this historic Dadaist work, the gallery renders the display useful again, allowing guests to borrow the commercially made tools from an art gallery setting.

Embracing Winter is the third exhibition in a series at The Warehouse Gallery referencing the natural world and encouraging environmental consciousness. The de-icing agents were generously donated by Cryotech. The curator would like to acknowledge the inspirational exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Sense of the City, which explored the theme of urban phenomena and perceptions that have traditionally been ignored, repressed or maligned.

 

EMBRACING WINTER EVENTS:

Hot Cocoa Reception / Thursday 15 Feb, 5-8 pm
@ The Warehouse Gallery, 350 W. Fayette St (at West St), Downtown Syracuse, NY 13202
Part of Th3 Syracuse Arts Night, with outdoor projection by Urban Video Project. www.th3syracuse.com
Free parking (call gallery to reserve). Free Connective Corridor shuttle (connectivecorridor.syr.edu).

Artist Presentation / Thursday 15 Feb, 2-4 pm
@ Shaffer Art Bldg, Room 121 (at College Place and Sims Drive), Syracuse University
Exhibition artist Takeshi Murata (takeshimurata.com) gives a talk and show videos. Sponsored by the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University.

Lunchtime Talks / Friday 16 Feb, 12-1 pm
@ Community Classroom #003, 350 W. Fayette (behind gallery on 1st floor). Light refreshments served.
Exhibition artists Janet Morton (ccca.ca) and Rudy Shepherd (mixedgreens.com) will talk about their work and Paul Fitzgerald (earthsciences.syr.edu), Associate Professor of Tectonics and Thermochronology at Syracuse University, will talk about his research and experiences in the Antarctic.

Playful, interactive exhibition of knitted sculpture, psychedelic video,
sly photography, crisp audio works by American, Canadian, Italian artists


Staging the coldest season as a playground for imagination, The Warehouse Gallery presents Embracing Winter, a group exhibition featuring knitted sculpture, psychedelic video, interactive displays, sly photography, and crisp audio and book works by American, Canadian and Italian artists. The show is on view Feb. 13 through March 31 and accompanied by a Hot Cocoa Reception on Feb. 15, Lunchtime Talks by exhibition artists and an earth scientist on Feb. 16, and an Experimental Film Screening on March 8.

“As technology advances, our concept of physical comfort becomes increasingly narrow and artificially mediated,” remarks gallery director Astria Suparak. “We can program thermostats to the degree, swim in heated pools in the winter, and ice skate in tropical regions. We prefer to encounter the seasons as an aesthetic experience, when convenient, within the self-created myth of a weatherless society. Traces of snowfall are quickly removed from city streets while windows remain decorated with impossibly gigantic paper snowflakes.” As Mirko Zardini of the Canadian Centre for Architecture writes, “Forgetting the climate, ignoring it, or trying to eliminate it from urban reality and our imagination not only deprives us of the pleasure of different seasons, which foster agreeable as well as disagreeable situations and conditions, but inevitably leads to unexpected confrontations with the more dramatic consequences of weather.”

Syracuse is the perennial winner of the Golden Snowball Award, for the most snowfall in New York State. Embracing Winter celebrates this crystallized precipitation as the key to a delightful set of activities, and as an ephemeral filter to make ordinary surroundings new again.

  • Janet Morton is knitting a model of her home in Guelph, Ontario, in time for the exhibition reception. Also in the show are Morton’s absurdly large, 15-foot-long handmade mitten and a tree branch sculpture frosted with lace. Her prolific body of work, including cozies for buildings and sweaters for sub-Saharan animals in Canadian zoos, spurs consideration of human excess, perceived needs, imposed aesthetics, and the value of time and repetitive labor. “The intent has been to playfully transform objects, critically examining impulses of anthropomorphization taken to extremes, misplaced sentimentality and control of nature,” Morton explains.
  • Rudy Shepherd, wearing a brown bear costume sewn by his mother, tromps in a New England winter scene. The casual, immediate air of a snapshot in these large photographs belies heavier implications. Selected from a series titled Ursa Major Contemplating the Meaning of the Universe, Shepherd’s performative work questions the meaning of home, the idea of comfort, the structures of transcultural and collective identity, and assumptions based
    on facades.
  • Italian Futurist Bruno Munari’s children’s book, Little White Riding Hood, shows there is substance in seemingly empty pages if one is inventive enough. The International Herald Tribune claims, “Munari is one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Not because he has imposed a particular style or look, but because he has encouraged people to go beyond formal conventions and stereotypes by showing them how to widen their
    perceptual awareness.”
  • New York State transplant Takeshi Murata pushes the boundaries of animation and psychedelia with sophisticated code-based image processing. In the hypnotic video installation Monster Movie, a B-movie yeti decomposes and reconstitutes 30 times per second, becoming a seething, digital morass of color and form. “Murata’s particular genius is an almost alchemical ability to transform forgotten relics of pop culture into dazzling jewels,” comments Artforum.
  • Available in a listening station as well as on the gallery’s website, Collin Olan’s delicate audio piece encapsulates the melting process of contact microphones frozen inside a block of ice. A tiny picture of an awe-inspiring, voluptuously iced landscape from a family camping trip in the Midwest accompanies the recording.
  • “In these familiar spaces, transformed in winter not only by a blanket of snow but also by a state of inactivity, we are offered glimpses of the sublime,” says Lisa M. Robinson about her photographic series Snowbound. The selected images pristinely capture a moment in time while pointing to the cycle
    of seasons.

Amidst these artists’ works, The Warehouse Gallery has produced interactive and informative displays. Visitors can compare their heights against a full-scale graph charting the snowfall in Syracuse over the last half century. Free samples are provided of de-icing agents that are less damaging to the environment than the conventionally used salt. A presentation of locally purchased snow shovels was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s 1915 readymade In Advance of the Broken Arm. As a munificent reversal of this historic Dadaist work, the gallery renders the display useful again, allowing guests to borrow the commercially made tools from an art gallery setting.

Embracing Winter is the third exhibition in a series at The Warehouse Gallery referencing the natural world and encouraging environmental consciousness. The de-icing agents were generously donated by Cryotech. The curator would like to acknowledge the inspirational exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Sense of the City, which explored the theme of urban phenomena and perceptions that have traditionally been ignored, repressed or maligned.

 

EMBRACING WINTER EVENTS:

Hot Cocoa Reception / Thursday 15 Feb, 5-8 pm
@ The Warehouse Gallery, 350 W. Fayette St (at West St), Downtown Syracuse, NY 13202
Part of Th3 Syracuse Arts Night, with outdoor projection by Urban Video Project. www.th3syracuse.com
Free parking (call gallery to reserve). Free Connective Corridor shuttle (connectivecorridor.syr.edu).

Artist Presentation / Thursday 15 Feb, 2-4 pm
@ Shaffer Art Bldg, Room 121 (at College Place and Sims Drive), Syracuse University
Exhibition artist Takeshi Murata (takeshimurata.com) gives a talk and show videos. Sponsored by the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University.

Lunchtime Talks / Friday 16 Feb, 12-1 pm
@ Community Classroom #003, 350 W. Fayette (behind gallery on 1st floor). Light refreshments served.
Exhibition artists Janet Morton (ccca.ca) and Rudy Shepherd (mixedgreens.com) will talk about their work and Paul Fitzgerald (earthsciences.syr.edu), Associate Professor of Tectonics and Thermochronology at Syracuse University, will talk about his research and experiences in the Antarctic.