W O R D / I M A G E / T E X T
Works by Joseph Farbrook, Zoey Stites, and Anik Vinay: Collaborative Books from the Atelier des Grames, Gigondas, France
Arakawa: Screenprints from the 1960s and 1970s
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross presents WORD/IMAGE/TEXT an exhibition which brings together the work of three contemporary artists who all explore the intersection of word, image and meaning within their chosen media. The work of Joseph Farbrook, Zoey Stites and Anik Vinay will be on view from June 24 – July 22, with an opening reception on Wednesday, June 24, from 5 – 6:00 p.m. in the Gallery. A selection of early prints by Shusaku Arakawa, lent by a private collector, will also be presented in the entrance area of the Gallery.
Massachusetts artist Joseph Farbrook teaches digital media and specializes in alternative uses for video game technology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities & Arts. Farbrook received his B.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001 and 2004 respectively. Included in the exhibition are six multimedia works created between 2005 and 2008 that utilize solid state display screens programmed with rapidly streaming content. Textile, 2005, Voice in My Head, 2008 and Cell in the New Body, 2006 all show black and white images that are in a constant state of flux. Farbrook’s work seeks to create new forms of narrative by drawing upon a strong literary background coupled with computer-aided media. His work has been shown nationally and internationally.
Rhode Island artist Zoey Stites teaches photography at the University of Rhode Island at Kingston. Stites earned her B.F.A. and B.S. in urban studies at the University of Rhode Island, and her M.F.A. from the University of South Florida. The work included in this exhibit is camera-based digital printmaking. Recontexualization, 2006, is a series of 35 10” x 13” and 10 24’x 30” digital prints that were produced by micro photographing documents describing global warming from various sources on computer monitor screens. Her prints, which display a random highlighting of words from these documents, are installed in large wall-sized word/image murals, which create a mosaic of familiar news-speak idioms and nonsense statements, blending scientific language with political rhetoric. Other works to be shown at the Cantor include a unit of digital pictures frames that display similar word/pictures in random order, suggesting meaning through word association.
French book artist Anik Vinay will be represented by a selection of collaborative books produced from 1979 through 2008 at the Atelier des Grames, Giogondas, France. The Atelier des Grames has been producing limited edition handmade books since 1968. Vinay joined the studio in 1976 and has been its principle artist for the last 10 years. She is a graduate of Ecole des Beaux Arts of Valence, France and has exhibited widely and received numerous awards throughout her career.
Vinay invites contemporary writers and poets to collaborate with her in her studio, giving their unpublished works a visual form. The text serves as inspiration for each piece and the results have been described as “theater” for the written word. Vinay’s works incorporate a variety of techniques and methods such as engraving and typography and make use of an array of materials including handmade paper, ceramics, wood, glass, plastic and metal. François Aubral, a writer whose work is represented by several pieces in the exhibition, has said: “Writers, visual artists…the important thing is the encounter between the two and the impact it has; from this something unexpected will emerge from both worlds…Art becomes a creature with several heads.”
A unique collection of screen and lithographic prints by Shusaku Arakawa, made between 1964 and 1972, will also be on display. Arakawa was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1936. He studied mathematics and medicine at the University of Tokyo and art at the Musashino Art University, before coming to the United States in 1961. He soon became a leading figure in the new area of conceptual art. One of his greatest influences on the art of the 1960s and 1970s was an ability to combine wit, humor and biting satire into the media of printmaking, which through its multiplicity allowed large audiences to see his work. Using Dada as an influence for his ideas, as well as Eastern and Western philosophy, physics, cognitive studies and aesthetics, Arakawa combined stenciled words, often used as puns, with scientific images to challenge and subvert literal interpretations of words and beliefs. Several examples of these early printmaking achievements will be shown at the Cantor.
WORD/IMAGE/TEXT at the Cantor Art Gallery is being shown in conjunction with the International Word & Image Conference, organized by Frédéric Ogée and Maurice A. Géracht, professor of English at Holy Cross. The conference, scheduled for June 24-26 at Holy Cross, will focus on practitioners of the verbal and plastic arts and the significance of their sister practices in their works. The conference is sponsored by the international French/English journal Interfaces, the University of Paris 7, and the College of the Holy Cross.