Brian

Berman

Fritz

Chesnut

William

Crump

Brian

Finke

Suzanne

Goldenberg

Laura Greengold

Bethany

Izard

Shay

Kun

William Lamson

Mark Marchesi

William Oberst

Casey

Ruble

Alix

Smith

Whitney Stolich

Sheri Rose Warshauer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dream, America
May 7 - June 12, 2005

 

About the

Show

 

 

Constructed over the past two centuries, the ideas of America and the American Dream are at least as much a myth as a reality. Today this battle for definition is one of the more trying of our time. Through a broad lens, "This dream, America" looks at the possibilities, euphoric and tragic, inherent in the American image of itself.

 

 

Installation Views

A great part of this dream is the idea of the everyday and its opposite, fame. For the purposes of This dream, America the dream is divided, like a noun, into three parts: person, place and thing.

 

 

 

Person

 

 

     
Brian Berman’s photos invite the viewer to experience the individual as they pose within their own space. Their directness challenges us to empathize with the subjects as we examine their idiosyncrasies. Within a similar framework, Alix Smith focuses on a very specific social group. Her photos work within the tradition of society portraiture, but reveal their mechanism. Asking her models to pose in their homes, ready for work or dinner, their poses reveal as much about the individuals as they do about the identities the create, in the role they play as themselves.
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Casey Ruble has chosen images of men from the Internet with model rockets. The comic aspect of the work is underlined by a concern with the micro nature of fetish and focus group so prevalent in today’s America. The work of Shay Kun and Bill Oberst address the everyday in a way that plays with levels of meaning and the everyday.
       
     

Place

       
     
Since its beginnings a sense of place and geography has been central to the American idea of itself. In the writings of Whitman and Thoreau, among many others, this theme has dominated. As much as geography, architecture can be understood to define how we see ourselves.
       
     
For Mark Marchesi the reflection of American spaces, infused by the influence of the human, reflects one of the great challenges of our time. How can we progress and grow while at once maintaining the immensity and purity of the natural world around us? In a similar arena Whitney Stolich plays as much with our perception of the natural and created world as it does with the odd juxtaposition of the natural and the industrial. Through a unique photographic process her work challenges our sense of scale and meaning.
       
     
Sheri Rose Warshauer’s paintings look closely at contemporary homes and portray them in a manner that is at once bland and compelling, an indication of our ambivalent relationship to things as givers of meaning, manifestation of dreams and the confirmation of a sense of identity.
       
     

Thing

       
     
For the average American there is little doubt that the lives of the stars are more familiar than the lives of historical figures. Washington is less familiar than Winona, Brad and Jen less meaningful than Truman and Dewey. It is this ambivalent relationship to fame that is so perplexing as it at once defines who we are and, perhaps more so, who we are not.
Bethany Izzard’s elegant paper cut outs of the trials and tribulations of Winona Ryder act as a humble stations of the cross, with Winona as the martyr.
       
     
While we are not all given the attention of movie stars, high school football promises many the moment of glory that may never come again. For Brian Finke it is a graceful documentation of the euphoric moment of the sports triumph, with all of its hope and promise. For William Crump the promise is seen as much more dubious.
       
     
Fritz Chesnut focuses on the transitional space between fame and everyday life in his paintings which are based on euphoric moments, both of which are as real as they are simulation: karaoke and fan worship.
       
     
William Lamson’s work here reflects all three categories with as much to say about place as it does about the dual relationship the individual has with everyday life and glory.
       
               
-Keith Miller, curator
       
                             

Brian

Berman

Fritz

Chesnut

William

Crump

Brian

Finke

Suzanne

Goldenberg

Laura Greengold

Bethany

Izard

Shay

Kun

William Lamson

Mark Marchesi

William Oberst

Casey

Ruble

Alix

Smith

Whitney Stolich

Sheri Rose Warshauer