April 5 – May 18, 2019
Reception: Friday, April 5, 5-8 pm
Zach Fitchner, Arron Foster, Matthew McLaughlin, Taryn McMahon, Nick Satinover, Brett Schieszer
Humanity’s relationship to the land has been investigated through the creation of art for millennia. In essence, to study the landscape is to study the history of people who’ve inhabited it before, to see the past in the present. Our connection to the land has a strong impact on our civilizations, where we settle and how we thrive, and has long been a driving force in the development of societies and their vernacular culture. The bond we have with our surroundings continues to be examined through art in analytical, celebratory and critical ways, evidenced by our proposal for exhibition at Troppus Projects.
The compo/site exhibit is a group installation with individual artist works. Each artist will contribute elements to be used that relate to their own exploration of land, space, and place. The installation utilizes wall hung elements along with projections and sculptural aspects to create a space that the audience can view and interact with.
The exhibition will include additional works to give viewers clues towards understanding each artist’s personal interest in landscape and place, while also allowing them to connect our personal artwork with the larger installation aspects.
My creative research explores our understanding of identity, its composition, and the ways in which it is distorted over time. Arguments on the make-up of our identity are well documented, but in general, experience and memory play very important roles. I maintain that who we are is determined by our experiences, and what we remember of them is shaped and distorted by factors such as time, place, duration, and intensity. My prints, drawings, and mixed media works are meant to function in a similar manner, shaping and distorting the composition and narrative over time.
Landscapes, although not the sole focus, remain a constant in my work. They act as intermediaries, negotiating space and satisfying formal compositional needs. More importantly, they reinforce our sense of self and play a defining role in who we are as people.
To remain has to do with time and place. Something that remains continues to exist when other parts, other things, no longer do. I believe that objects and places have the ability to bridge the past, present, and future by objectifying and embodying time and change.
My creative research involves the production of artists’ books, prints, drawings, videos, animations and installations that consider the ways in which our perceptions of time and change mediate our lived experiences. Specifically, I am interested in creating images that visualize the relationship between time, change, and consciousness. Images often move between abstraction and representation so that narratives and associations to the real world are implied but left open-ended.
In recent projects, these themes have been investigated through landscape imagery, with an emphasis being placed on capturing temporal change through allusions to the circuitry of ecological systems and the continual evolution of the natural environment. Through repeated visits to specific locals, I strive to document and preserve our experience of time and space within the landscape
My work explores the relationship we have with our surrounding environment, both natural and man-made, suburban and urban, and how we interact and observe the spaces we inhabit and alter for our own wants and needs. My interest comes from my own observations of the places I have lived and the unique aspects that make them different from each other, while simultaneously, finding the ideas or aspects that are congruent. Growing up in a planned suburban community made me observant of the unusual aspects and components that characterize community.
Through image manipulation and the re-contextualizing of symbols, my work creates new perspectives for the viewer to consider when confronted with their own relationship with the environment. The work strives to have a conversation with the audience about their own awareness of space, want of things and societal norms, by not forcing a specific viewpoint. My art aims to bring forth questions that spark an inner dialogue that may or may not affect their perspective on their environment.
When asked to imagine nature, a sublime landscape untouched by human hands comes to mind. Why do we consider ourselves outside of nature, and how can art, through its depictions of the natural world, disrupt culturally constructed views of nature to impact our understanding of the natural world and our place within it? These questions guide my creative practice, which uses digital photographs and drawings from visits to ecological sites to investigate our relationship to the natural world.
My artworks interrogate ways that these spaces project our own desires and fantasies of the natural world and our place within it. I blend digital and hand drawn print processes to further explore how our interactions with the natural world are mediated through technology, and are thus fragmented and selective. Through my work, I imagine a future ecology in which technology and reality are collapsed into each other and the natural and the manmade have become intertwined and indistinguishable in the face of unprecedented ecological change. Like a DJ spinning sounds culled from disparate sources, the forms are remixed through the filters of printmaking, drawing, digital photography, and collage.
Satinover’s primary concern when creating visual works, writing and sound is the convolution of intrinsic, physical and psychological experiences of space and place. Having grown up in the tattered edges of the Midwest’s “Rust Belt,” he has long been drawn to the forms, functions and narratives of this built environment and how they impact his understanding and relationship to every other place encountered. Through contrast, intervals, and dichotomies of material and visual languages his hope is to reveal a series of ambivalent statements that reflect the complexity of being: past and present, internal and external, evocative and open, critical yet non-judgmental, personal and universal.
Each of our big brains defines our individual perspective of life through experience, choice, circumstance, and senses. It is not too far to fetch that possibly the largest common thread throughout human experience is landscape. Wherever you are… there it is! Much of my work explores spaces and scapes in a way that can be disorienting compared to a more traditional experience with a landscape. I call on a viewer to lean into their own developed understanding of the world to make sense of the one I am presenting them with.
April 5-May 13, 2019
Reception: Friday, April 5, 5-8 pm
Edward P. Stanulis
The Scarab Club is proud to host a solo exhibition of the photographs by Scarab member/artist Edward P. Stanulis.
The roots of photography are grounded in the sense that the camera captures an image fixed in time and place. It documents that moment somehow separate from the intrusion of the observer. Once that image is manipulated, it raises ethical and aesthetic concerns for both the documentary photographer and the fine art photographer. In the case of the former, if the image is staged, objects removed or introduced, when does that photo become false and merely propaganda? In the case of the latter, when does excessive manipulation change the image from photography to a form of digital art?
My photography is about capturing light and dark, texture and color that visualizes my thoughts and emotions visualized in the ordinary things around us. To that end, I may manipulate color intensity and hue, contrast, or black and white sliders, but on the whole, I resist extensive manipulation of the image.
For example, my photo, “Night Thoughts,” is an image of shadows on the wall cast by light shining through a metal railing. An ordinary but evanescent moment. In my mind’s eye, the vague shadow of fear and doubt that haunts our lives even in our daylight moments.
While “Night Thoughts” hopefully engages the viewer’s emotions, the photo, “Nazca,” I hope engages the viewer’s intellect and sense of humor. We are intrigued by those vast and mysterious images scratched in the desert floor of Peru which can only be observed in their entirety from a height. Who made them? Why? Was it aliens? My “Nazca” humorously suggests that alien builder and echoes the images created by those builders. Still, I am intrigued by the textures and shadows created by light shining through the chair on the carpet below.
There is no need to chase a subject. Every day millions of images raise their hands for notice, but we often ignore them in the hopes that something truly wonderful will call us to attention. To my mind, we are always surrounded by the astonishing if we care to notice. I’m reminded by a statement of Ansel Adams who wrote, “there are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
In the historic room, you’ll find works from the Scarab Club’s permanent collection, including an original Robert Hopkin. Hopkin was one of Detroit’s leading painters in the mid to late 19th century in Detroit, producing seascapes, landscapes and decorative works, including the interior of the Detroit Opera House (1869). In 1907, the Detroit Museum of Art held an exhibition in his honor, at which time his fellow artists founded the Hopkin Club, which later became the Scarab Club.