UnLearn: Confronting the Known (Pop-up Art Exhibit)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Two people with headphones listening to information on the paintingIn early April, the Speech Communication course Art, Communication and Culture, taught by Shana MacDonald, launched the department's inaugural pop-up art exhibition "unLearn: Confronting the Known" in the ML main floor hallway leading to the Theatre of the Arts. This one-day event showcased the work of eleven students, many of whom were first-time artists. The works included video, sound installations, performance pieces, paintings, photography and digital graphic art. The students worked on these pieces independently and collaboratively over the winter semester, devising an overall theme for the exhibit and producing collective and individual artist statements. The pop-up show was well attended and the students were thrilled with the engagement and feedback they received from their peers and professors. We look forward to this becoming an annual event that brings together students and faculty from across all three units in the department. The Artists: Lindsay Davies, Andrea Dedlow, Ryan East, Ryan Jeethan, Holly Pearson, Erika Rego , Madhulika Saxena, Bob Stan, Mayer Tanuan, Sanj Takhar, Brianna Wiens, Melanie Williamson

Artist Statement

unLearn: Confronting the Known seeks to push beyond the surface of our everyday images, perceptions, and habits. We have been molded by a society filled with stereotypes, injustices, and forms of manipulation. These art pieces offer viewers the opportunity to unlearn their viewing habits, question social norms and think critically about what they already "know". This diverse group of works was developed collaboratively through class conversations around the relationship between art, communication, culture, politics, and our interconnected relationships with one another. Our interests lie in opening and expanding dialogues about art in greater public arenas. We want to question -- alongside our viewers -- how art influences our interactions with one another, how it can help us see the world differently, and how we create meaning out of our lived experiences. To us, art is both specific and meaningful. Our hope is for you to confront and face dominant ideologies in a new light, to take what we know and understand differently. Art needs to be a part of the communities we build both inside and beyond the university. To unlearn is not to undo, it is to create new meanings through the shared collaborations of the artists and viewers. We invite you to question what you know and what you've learned, and to imagine how art can invite new community formations and ways of experiencing the world. We hope our art works contribute to this process of unlearning the habitual expectations and provide you with an imaginative experience of what might be.

Below is one of the projects by Bob Stan.