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Thoughts on a Museum of Wonder

University of Oregon alumna Linda Tesner has spent her thirty-eight-year curatorial career in institutions as varied as Maryhill Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum, and the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis & Clark College. From this vantage point, Tesner has developed thoughts on the elements she believes creates delight in a visual art experience. Her illustrated comments draw on the richness of private collections found in Oregon as she proposes an alternative to traditional art museums.

Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Akpalakpa II (Weave), 2012, repurposed, used, non-biodegradable discarded plastic bags, metal wire, and wood. Courtesy of the artist and Skoto Gallery, New York.

Vik Muniz, Sarah Bernhardt from Rebus, 2010, digital C-print. Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art, Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 2011.25. © Vik Muniz, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Aurora Robson, Isla, 2014, plastic debris (PET + HDPE), aluminum rivets, tinted polycrylic, and mica powder. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

 

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

September 22, 2018 to December 30, 2018

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials features 58 recent works made by 30 artists from 13 countries that investigate the complex cultural and material nexus that is “Plastic.” Organized around the curatorial concept of entanglement – which describes the literal entanglements of animals and plastic detritus as well as the plasticity of global networks – the exhibition explores the unique materiality of plastic, as an artistic material and potent symbol of Western modernity, and considers the environmental consequences of its widespread use. Plastic Entanglements charts the temporal nature of this seemingly ubiquitous material that is at once miraculous and malignant, ephemeral yet relentlessly enduring. Plastic’s temporal entanglements create the exhibition narrative, unfolding thematically as the archive, the entangled present, and speculative futures. Ultimately, the exhibition argues that plastic entangles categories of the aesthetic, the ethical, the material, the technological, and the critical.

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials was organized by the Palmer Museum of Art of The Pennsylvania State University. At the University of Oregon, Plastic Entanglements is made possible with the generous support of the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment; Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer; the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and JSMA members.

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