Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

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This collection includes documentation of exhibitions, installations, artwork and other related materials from the Utah Museum of Contempory Art in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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Branded and on Display
Virtually every activitiy in our lives is experienced through purchases, from bassinets to caskets Our landscape is studded with logos, brand names, and billboards - inducements to participate in a culture defined by the acquisition of commodities. This exhibit, Branded and on Display, examines the work of artists who explore the meanings and consequences of branding and display tactics in their responses to this pervasively marked environment. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Brian Bress: Creative Ideas For Every Season
Creative Ideas for Every Season explores the difficulties and absurdities confronting the pursuit of a creative practice. High definition video, color, sound. 19 min., 58 sec. Exhibition held in the New Genres Gallery., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Cantastoria
Historically, cantastoria, which means “history singer” or “sung story” in Italian, were prominent in preliterate culture as vehicles for transmitting news and heritage. Their information was conveyed theatrically in a town square through song and pictograms. UMOCA’s group exhibition explores the notion of the cantastoria as a metaphor across cultures and specifically within contemporary art. In Cantastoria tales are told through singing bards documented across Eastern Europe in a video created by Ukraine’s REP Group. Israeli artist Omer Fast has created a Frankensteinian mouthpiece of news media’s talking head. In Ignacio Uriarte’s film the clicks and whistles of the now obsolete typewriter are rhythmically conjured by the grandfather of beat-boxing, Michael Winslow. Other artwork portrays a language created in Utah and its possible connection to activism from bygone eras. Adam Bateman’s towering monument made from the printed word weighs more than 55,000 pounds. And Spanish artist Ignasi Aballi offers an iconic inventory of every active language in the world today. “This theme envelops the basic desire for kinship between peoples and the methods by which we hold on to our histories. The exhibition analyzes the museum’s primary function as a storyteller of culture while the artworks poetically decode our diaristic instincts and weaknesses,” says Aaron Moulton, UMOCA. Participating artists include: Ignasi Aballi (Spain), Aram Bartholl (Germany), Adam Bateman (USA), Beehive Design Collective (USA), Aleksandra Domanovic (Slovenia), Omer Fast (Israel), Jakup Ferri (Kosovo), Janos Fodor (Hungary), Carey Ann Francis (USA), Rainer Ganahl (Austria), Andy Graydon (USA), Pablo Helguera (Mexico), Bob Moss (USA), Lucia Nimcova (Slovakia), Lisa Oppenheim (USA), REP Group (Ukraine), Ignacio Uriarte (Spain). Exhibition held in the Main Gallery Space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Carlos Rosales-Silva: Art Truck
The Art Truck brings exciting and accessible contemporary art created by leading local and national artists directly to schools and community venues along the Wasatch Front. Engage in learning about our current Art Truck installation by Carlos Rosales-Silva, a contemporary artist from Austin, Texas whose paintings photos, sculptures and drawings investigate themes of borders, diversity and identity. Growing up in various parts of Texas, artist Carlos Rosales-Silva had to reconcile his own identity — half Mexican, half American Indian — with that of his larger-than-life state. "Texas history is all about mythmaking" said Rosales-Silva, 30, who's in Utah this month with an art exhibit on wheels in the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art's Art Truck. Rosales-Silva, who is now living in New York but will forever associate himself with Texas, aims to examine identity issues of race and class and "filter them through formal art movements." He lists as examples Op Art (think Bauhaus) and Abstract Expressionism (Mark Rothko and others), as well as popular culture iconography. Take, for example, his "Texas Comanches" banner. It's a large red-and-white banner like one you would see in any high-school gymnasium. But this one reads, "Texas Comanches, State Champions, 1747-1865" the dates indicating how long the Comanches roamed Texas before white settlers ultimately defeated the native population. "A lot of my things have a sense of humor" Rosales-Silva said. "It's laughing to keep from crying. If you can make people laugh, you can get their attention." The Art Truck will be easy to identify as it drives around Salt Lake City: It will be wrapped in a 7-foot-high vinyl version of Rosales-Silva's diptych "Bringing Sexy Back." Exhibition held in the Art Truck., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Celebrating the Creativity and Wisdom of Women: 9th Biennial Utah Women Artists' Exhibition 1997
"Celebrating the Creativity and Wisdom of Women" displays works by Utah women artists. Most of the artwork is narrative with social content, focusing on a variety of issues with unique perspectives. Exhibition held in the Street Level Gallery space., TIFF image scanned at 600 dpi from the original using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner. PDF created with Adobe
Chester Arnold: Urban Invasion
Influenced by the paintings of Northern European artists he saw growing up in Germany, Arnold builds modern-day but age-old narratives about Life and Death and Man versus Nature. Intellectually rich and technically lush, Arnold’s paintings cast a wonderful spell. The viewer must step back from the paintings in order to reveal the image clearly. Exhibition held in the Street Level Gallery space., TIFF image scanned at 600 dpi from the original using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner. PDF created with Adobe
Christian Jankowski: Casting Jesus
For nearly two millennia, artists who have wished to depict Jesus Christ have had to make difficult decisions about the appearance of the person to play the role. In Casting Jesus (2011), Christian Jankowski allows the viewer to become a fly on the wall, observing as a distinguished panel of representatives from the Vatican—including Monseñor José Manuel del Rio Carrasco, Vatican Priest; Sandro Barbagallo, Art Critic at the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper; and Massimo Giraldi, journalist and Secretary of the Commission for Film Classification of the Italian Bishop Conference—engage in the process of casting actors in the role of Jesus Christ. Filmed by Jankowski in the Complesso Monumentale Santo Spirito in Saxia, Rome, and watched via live video stream by a separate audience of 300, the jury gradually narrows the field down to one as they observe the actors completing a variety of tasks including breaking bread, performing a miracle and reciting scripture, as well as dramatic recitations of aphorisms attributed to Jesus. By contrasting the acknowledged earnestness and religious faith of the jurors with a selection process that borrows heavily from pop culture mainstays such as American Idol, Casting Jesus also thoughtfully explores the difficulties and absurdities in human efforts to encompass the divine. At the same time, however, the dialogue between the Vatican jurors and the actors lays bare the hidden processes of thousands of years of art history that have resulted in varied depictions of Jesus Christ as Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement and actor Jim Cavaziel’s portrayal in The Passion of the Christ (2004). Exhibition held in the New Genres Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Christopher Kelly: God Complex
Christopher Kelly's "God Complex" expands and encapsulates this particular creationist motif by referencing the language and aesthetics of science fiction. A genre often associated with futuristic pursuits of new worlds and extraterrestrial life, sci-fi is also an apt metaphor for the discovery of differences between self and other, human and alien. Although Kelly's practice is averse to explicit narrative, one cannot help but attempt to place each work into a greater story. His performative sculptures are poetic simulations that confront the perplexities of identity. By constructing allegorical depictions of personal dialogues, Kelly forms an internal autobiography. Exhibition held in the Projects Gallery space., TIFF image scanned at 600 dpi from the original using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner. PDF created with Adobe
Clay on the Wall; Ansel Adams: The Museum Set
Towards the end of his life, Adams created a set of 75 images representing what he believed to be his best work. His intention was to create 100 of these sets, but only six were printed at the time of his death. "Ansel Adams: The Museum Set" held in the Main Gallery space. "Clay on the Wall" explores the aesthetic side of the form/function dichotomy that has been a part of ceramic production for centuries. Thirty-two national and international ceramic artists have been invited to submit pieces that hang on the wall. While many of the pieces may reference vessels or platters, hanging them on the wall creates focus on their aesthetic qualities rather than their utilitarian purposes. Exhibition held in the Upper Gallery space., Original version: Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA); Archival digital version: SLCC Digital Archives.
Contact: Christians and Moors, Image and Ritual in Mexico
George O. Jackson, born in Houston, Texas, of Mexican descent has beautifully documented the celebrations and syncretic rituals as practiced in contemporary rural Mexico. Over the past ten years the photographer has created an important archive of Mexico's "ethnographic present", addressing issues of visual importance and cultural meaning. More specifically the photographs present us with those visually commanding festivities, pageantry and performances linked to the figure of Santiago Matamoros (Saint James the Greater, or Saint James the Moor-Slayer). These festivities have been celebrated in countless different versions throughout Mexico since the Conquest. The battles of Santiago Matamoros against the interest of Islam and Judaism on the Iberian Peninsula are re-enacted in the bewildering array of traditional Mexican celebrations containing staged antagonisms between the Christians and the Moors. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space., TIFF image scanned at 600 dpi from the original using an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner. PDF created with Adobe
Contemporary Masters: Artist-Designed Miniature Golf
View of Artwork, Shredder, in Hole number 10. In the context of mini golf, the verb “putt” is somewhere between “to put,” a deliberate act, and “to putter,” a state of playful inattention. Art exists in that same gray area—an intentional activity but not a utilitarian one. Life can become so routine and ordinary that it becomes like a trudge down a long hallway, and art can be a window or even a doorway into another direction, another way of seeing, thinking, feeling, or being. So art is not a thing the artist makes, something that we passively look at, it’s an intersection, a nexus created by the artist and calling out for our participation. The aesthetics of the last 100 years, from Russian Formalism to Relational Aesthetics, has argued that art is not an object but rather an encounter, an interrelation. The artists in Contemporary Masters, like many contemporary artists, offer us an experience that puts us in that little girl’s place, as a participant rather than a viewer. The artists take the game seriously, and they also puncture the art world’s pretensions of seriousness. Their projects draw us into a carnivalesque tour of the known universe through the artists’ eyes, from urban streets to far galaxies to imaginary landscapes, each rewarding every putt with a unique encounter, an opportunity, a new window on the world. Exhibition held in the Main Gallery space., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Contemporary Trends in Video Art
Video as a medium in the visual arts dates back to the 1960s, with artists previous to this time working in film. A unique quality of film and video in the visual arts is the timed sequence, which allows for the construction or deconstruction of narrative. In today's media savvy society, film and video footage is readily available in varied formats, and is often appropriated, collaged into, and/or manipulated within new contexts by contemporary artists. Exhibition held in the Projects and Main Gallery spaces., Digital image files converted from Raw file format to TIFF using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.

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