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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.
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.
SOUTHEASTERN’S CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY
TO FEATURE “WORLD IN A JAR”
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
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.