News release
Public Information Office   SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 3/17/05
World in a JarClick on image for publication quality photo 

WORLD IN A JAR – Photographer Robert Hirsch’s installation art work “World in a Jar: War and Trauma” will be on display April 7-23 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Contemporary Art Gallery. The gallery is located in East Stadium and is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., weekdays with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. The exhibit opens with a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. on April 7.

PigeonOne Act, AccidentalIN SOUTHEASTERN’S VIDEO GALLERY – Four works by Barry Anderson will be on display April 7-23 at the video gallery in Southeastern Louisiana University’s Contemporary Art Gallery in East Stadium. Above are scenes from the short films, titled “Trash Can,” “One-Act, Accidental,” “Pigeon,” and “Lovers.” Anderson’s works are meditations on simple daily events. 

      HAMMOND – The next exhibit to be showcased in Southeastern Louisiana University’s Contemporary Art Gallery will be a challenge to install for gallery director Dale Newkirk. However, the end results, he said, will be worth the effort.
      Robert Hirsch’s “World in a Jar: War and Trauma” will arrive on campus early next month in two crates weighing a total of more than 2,000 lbs. Newkirk will need a fork lift to maneuver the huge and heavy packaging into position at the gallery – the roomy space in East Stadium that has over the years housed the university student union and bookstore.
      A combination of photography exhibit and sculpture installation, “World in a Jar” will be on display April 7-23. It is a collection of 800 black and white photographs, each sealed safely away in its own glass jar with a black lid. The jars are stacked four rows high in undulating waves on a high, curved table that cuts a long arc through the gallery space. 
      “It’s going to be a challenge, because of the number of jars and the weight,” Newkirk said. “This exhibit would not have fit into the old gallery (Clark Hall Gallery.) The table is 50 feet long.”
      While he will have to unpack and place each carefully wrapped jar, one thing that Newkirk will not have to worry about is arranging them in any particular order. According to the exhibit catalog, Hirsch’s photographs are “an enormous array of historical images that have been re-energized to bring forward a litany of horrors from the wars and traumas of the past three centuries.” Newkirk said the artist specifically does not want them grouped chronologically.
      The dizzying mix of images includes Hirsch’s own original photographs along with historical pictures, stills from old movies and current television programs, medical illustration, scientific diagrams, sections of paintings and old engravings, cartoons and other folk sources.
      Lee Harvey Oswald’s grimace of pain as Jack Ruby’s bullet strikes his body; a close-up of Abraham Lincoln’s war-weary eyes; a white-hooded klansman in front of the United States Capitol; the Hindenberg bursting into flames; the World Trade Center’s tragic skeleton – those are just some of the infamous images sealed in Hirsch’s jars. 
      No image has prominence. Whether he is dealing with a Nazi atrocity, some appalling medical procedure, Frankenstein or Bart Simpson, Hirsch gives every image visual parity.
      Said “Buffalo News” critic Richard Huntington: “He lays out these images as equals to jolt the mind into emotional attention. In Hirsch’s hands the mixing of the trivial and the serious, the accidental and horrifyingly deliberate, make it seem that every piece is part and parcel of some overarching human drama larger than the sum of these parts.” 
      “Robert Hirsch has written three books on photography and has become a leading authority in the field,” Newkirk said. “This ambitious installation has been shown around the country, and we are honored to have it at the Southeastern Contemporary Art Gallery.” 
      In conjunction with “World in a Jar,” the Contemporary Art Gallery’s video gallery will show a selection of video art work by Barry Anderson. A teacher in Kansas City, Anderson is a graduate of Indiana University. The video gallery will show works titled “Trash Can,” “One-Act, Accidental,” “Pigeon,” and “Lovers.”
      “His works are meditations on simple daily events,” said Newkirk. The videos, he said, “allow you to focus on the beauty in your daily life through the manipulation of an isolated image in time.”
      A reception for Hirsch and Anderson well be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on the exhibits’ opening day, April 7. Newkirk said the gallery will also host a regional exhibition organized by the American Institute of Graphic Artists, April 13-23. 
      “The exhibition will be made up of more than 90 works of graphic art from area university graphic design programs, including Southeastern,” he said. 
      Hours for the Contemporary Art Gallery are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., weekdays with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays For additional information, contact Newkirk at 985-549-5080/2193.