The term “social distance” is incredibly prevalent in our current day-to-day, and has a long, complicated history. In the nineteenth century, “social distance” was a euphemism used by the British to talk about class and by Americans to talk about race. In today’s time, it most commonly refers to the six feet distance that must be maintained to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The aim of this exhibition is to refer, criticize, interpret, or reinterpret “socially distanced”. Exhibiting artists addressed the theme of “socially distanced” in a multitude of explorative ways.
Artists Casaundra Beard, Daniel Johnson, and Clay Palmer addressed the experience of isolation during Covid-19 stay-at-home orders and beyond.
Artists Sylwia Karwowska, Rick Briggenhorst, and Michail S.V. Ratcliff addressed the protests held in the past year. Their work bears visuals of divides, hyper-visibility, and written language.
Meidi Karamopour painted dreamlike pre-pandemic social scenes. The theme of dreamlike distortion carries through in Madeline Brice’s paintings and Jaylen Early’s photographs. Artists Noushin Mousavia and Todd Reynolds reimagine masks.
Peter Bankov, Yossi Lemel, Reza Gholipour, Iwona Duszek, Bata Knezevic, and Eduardo Barrera Arambarri designed posters that illustrate many pandemic related themes, from physical distance to our growing relationship to technology.
Many artists offer interpretations of socially distanced unrelated to the pandemic. Haley Biere created a self-portrait that highlights the dysphoria they had before top surgery. Shen Chen Hsieh and Lillian Fitzpatrick collaborated on a participatory piece that offers viewers the opportunity to see two images become one, which speaks to the incongruity felt when feeling out of place. Jennifer Rose Wolken created a wearable piece which physical weight and size exemplify the cumbersome effects of anxiety and depression.
Socially Distanced was curated by Graduate Assistants Shauna Le Ann Smith and Nadia Issa. This exhibition highlights work from 25 artists, including four guests of honor. The participating artists range from local to international. The artists were chosen by the curators through an open call jurying process while the guests of honors were invited to exhibit. The guests of honor artists are all established designers and their work being shown in a multidisciplinary exhibition is unique in how posters are often shown in poster-specific exhibitions and biennales.
Exhibiting artists in Socially Distanced include:
Guests of honor: Peter Bankov, Eduardo Barrera Arambarri, Götz Gramlich, Yossi Lemel.
Casaundra Beard, Madeline Brice, Haley Biere, Rick Briggenhorst, Iwona Duszek, Jaylen Early, Lillian Fitzpatrick, Reza Gholipour, Alisha Heitz, Shen Chen Hsieh, Daniel Johnson, Meidi Karampour, Sylwia Karwowska, Bata Knezevic, Noushin Mousavi, Teddy Osei, Clay Palmer, Michail S.V. Ratcliff, Todd Reynolds, Jennifer Rose Wolken, Rex Ybañez .
Socially Distanced is on view at Brick City Galleries from May 24th – June 24th. The galleries can be visited Monday through Friday 11 am – 6 pm during summer hours, or other times, by appointment. Brick City Gallery is located at 215 W. Mill St. Springfield, MO 65806. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details.
This feature was written by Shauna Smith, one of the co-curators of the exhibit.