Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Opposing Gestures art exhibit

Sam Hill | The Free Press

Posted on October 04, 2014 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

By Lily Kapiloff

The new art exhibit called “Opposing Gestures” has made an appearance in both the Portland and Gorham campuses.

“Opposing Gestures” is the result of a collaboration between visiting artists Sama Alshaibe and Joseph Farbrook. The artists describe their collaboration as an inter-media exploration of political, existential and personal dilemmas demonstrated through individual human gesture and motion.

The collaboration “DIATRIBES, A Decade Later” on the Portland campus, utilizes four old-style televisions to broadcast simultaneous interviews and news bulletins covering the U.S.-led invasion on Iraq with updated commentary by the artists discussing each others’ works and how the context has changed socially and politically since the project began ten years ago.

Director of Exhibitions and Programs, Caroline Eyler, said that she wants to spread awareness about USM’s digital media concentration and inspire students about the possibilities that are out there for this kind of career. She also explained that both artists experiment between the labels of fine art and digital media. She specifically mentioned how Farbrook likes to infiltrate other systems.

“He made an e-ghost for match.w\com which is just a fake profile. He hacked and reprogrammed Kindle technology to make images that move but don’t emit light,” said Eyler. “He really has an inventor quality about him.”

Some students on campus are finding the presentation of  the exhibit difficult to absorb. The personal, political and existential questions raised in this exhibit are likely to illicit a range of reactions from students.

Winston Boyle, a sophomore physics major, believes that viewing the exhibit in the environment it was presented makes people feel like they are just watching a regular news broadcast. However, some students disagree with this statement.

“I think it has a lot to do with what people want to see. It’s a little difficult to watch all that at once. You just get used to that kind of stuff after a while and you tune it out,” said Ella Field, a senior chemistry major.

Eyler offered advice for students who want to take in the exhibits on a deeper level.

“Just sit in the space and relax; let the overall effects sink it. Look at the individual ones, see what you think about them, then just sit back and hear the sounds and the music. They’re really probing at what it means to be human. The exhibit works on a lot of different levels. There’s a lot left for the viewer to sort out.”

“We are inviting everyone to share their personal reactions to become a larger part of the artwork,” said Eyler.

On the Portland campus, there will be a community response wall that will allow community members to share written or visual response. Some of the responses will be posted on the wall alongside the artists’ work and also on the USM Art Gallery’s website. According to Eyler, the community response wall aims to create a safe place for discussion, analysis and the sharing of personal stories that are well thought out and respectful.

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