ARTIFACT + METAFACT: exploring the transformation of visual symbols Carla Aspenberg, Jill Auckenthaler, John Avelluto, Zoë Cohen, Julianna Dail, Lieven De Boeck, Carrie Fucile, Gwazdor, Keith Pavia, Megan Piontkowski, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Tamas Veszi, and Cory Wagner
13 artists, working in a variety of mediums, interpret iconic imagery into a contemporary visual dialog with the viewer. Flags, video game imagery, famous artworks, geometric forms, and surreal dream imagery are all subject to critical, yet beautiful, dissections. Specifically, the artists will explore a symbol’s potential to exist both in physical reality (artifact), and in our collective memories (metafact). What are the conditions surrounding this transformation?
Curated by Tamas Veszi and Carla Aspenberg, this exhibition serves as a follow up to the 2006 Brooklyn College MFA show, Plan B, which sparked wide media coverage after it was censored and then improperly shut down by NYC Parks Department (last month the artists were issued a formal apology and cash compensation). Plan B Prevails, was eventually reopened, although greatly changed by the new context of a different venue, and media exposure. Sarah Nicole Phillips turned a Parks Department logo upside-down in quiet protest, and born was the concept that would become Artifact + Metafact, where context dictates the meaning of an image. How can the most widespread of all imagery also be that which is most open to interpretation of meaning?
In Artifact + Metafact, Ms. Phillips incorporates stained glass and traditional religious imagery to reflect the growing interest in environmental sustainability among many Evangelical Christians. John Avelluto says his new series of paintings incorporates “the logos of the top 50 corporations and other symbols used to distinguish the good guys from the bad.” Inspired by a dream of house plants in a baby’s crib, Megan Piontkowski has an installation of sewn and stuffed jade and aloe plants. Lieven De Boeck says he plans to present, “a white drawing and text made by pricking holes through the paper. The text repeats Article 5 of the Declarations of Human Rights, that `no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.’”