Turing Test, detail, Anders Johnson
Mark is an exhibit of eleven works by nine local and national artists, is like taking a road trip through the physical and psychological landscape of the United States. A branded pig, the American flag, audio books, paintings and photographs experienced along the way display a deep concern for the vulnerable.
During the opening, 6-9pm, Saturday Nov. 7th, Mandy Cano Villalobos meditatively hand-grinds a red brick into dust, the pile of which she leaves for future visitors. The pig is also hers. Marked with designs appropriated from the Cuzco school, which for purposes of religious conversion in the 16th century, taught indigenous people along the Andes European painting techniques, the pig represents both the sacred and the filthy.
Physical and emotional degradation marks Jenny Day’s haunting landscape of empty, dark interstate bridges both cut and supported by thick bands of ochre. Red, rather than green serves as the ground. Day’s color choice shares a palette both with that of the Cuzco school and with fellow Mark artist John Bruno. The three stacked yellow circles in his painting, Disheartening Loss Means War, reads like a cautionary traffic light, warning of potential danger ahead. A piece by photographer and experimental psychologist David Pittenger continues the theme. In Reno Two PM, thick shadows playing across a sea of empty apartment balconies form a complex grid and turn the building into a cage.
Based on a road trip across America, the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac is considered a defining work of the postwar generation. Katie Hargrave made five customized versions by recording only the underlined sections she found in various copies of the book. Anders Johnson’s painting adds to the driving experience. Housed in a factory, a police cruiser and a wrecked car sit just past the dashboard of an empty automobile.
Flags comprise a quarter of the show-more perhaps if you read the red and white lines in Bruno’s painting as a political symbol. Laura McAdams bowling ball anchoring a flag balloon symbolizes both holding up and holding back progress. Katie Hargrave joined — or divided — an American and Mexican flag with the snaking line of the Rio Grande. She took the photo in Texas. A flag also juts out over the balcony and points to a clock in a black and white photograph by Jesse Kilmon.
Should one need a respite at any point, Beth Reitmeyer invites participants to sit and snack! Reitmeyer, best known in Nashville for her interactive work and thoughtful presence in the arts scene, thankfully creates a soft space in the form of rock shaped pillows. She hopes her work will provide an area not only for contemplation, but also for conversation. Perhaps even action.