Michael Sherwin | 12.1 – 12.20.2008

Translations of Lorca, 2006 (see video)

For this interdisciplinary collaborative project, I worked with the director of Central Washington University’s Chamber Choir and another filmmaker to create a video installation, which coincided with a live performance of the “Suite de Lorca” written by a famous Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara. The synchronized installation consisted of compatible imagery, compiled from video-based observations of nature and travels through various environments, projected on two separate 9 x 12 foot screens placed on either sides of the choir. Shifting with the music from fast to slow, light to dark, frantic to meditative, the film follows an anonymous figure whose presence serves as a conduit for one’s inner quest.

* single channel video only will be presented at Western Michigan University.

Previous documentation: Translations of Lorca, Two-Channel Video Installation with Live Choir, Central Washington University, 2006

Translations of Lorca … 12.1 – 12.20.2008

Atrium Gallery – Western Michigan University

Originally from Southwestern Ohio, Michael Sherwin received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The Ohio State University in 1999, and in June of 2004 he received his Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. He has taught a variety of photography and digital imaging courses at institutions including: the Center for the Arts in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene, Oregon, the University of Oregon and Central Washington University. After an eight-year stint in the Northwest, Michael recently returned to the East to accept a position as Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Imaging at West Virginia University. He has won numerous grants and awards for his work, and has been exhibited widely. He is also an active and participating member of the Society for Photographic Education, and the College Art Association.

Michael Sherwin – Morgantown West Virginia


Michael Lasater | 11.3 – 11.22.2008

Michael Lasater
Passing Figure, 1999
Video with Sound, stereo
Running Time: 5:00 minutes
11.3 – 11.8.2008
see video

Michael Lasater
Billboard, 2004
Video with Sound, stereo
Running Time: 5:15 minutes
11.10 – 11.15.2008
see video

Michael Lasater
Visions Fugitive, 2007
Video with Sound, stereo
Running Time: 6:00 minutes
11.17 – 11.22.2008
see video

The subject of my work often derives from issues and processes of personal psychology, especially perception, memory, personal narrative, and the construction of meaning.

As an artist, I am primarily interested in composition in video, animation, and sound as a means of exploring, discussing, and objectifying ideas and concepts. But I am also interested in the exploration of media composition for its own sake; I’m interested in vocabulary, structure, technique, and methods.

Dziga Vertov (film), Anton Webern (music), and Gerhard Richter (painting) are representative of artists who have had a significant influence on my work. Vertov’s ethos in his declaration I am cinema-eye, I am camera-eye , his development of film as a separate reality, nearly an alternative consciousness, have influenced my conception of media composition as a self-referencing language, much like music. Webern’s serial work, in which every note is a planet, every movement a universe, suggests to me not only strategies for composition and structure, but provides a firm basis for confidence in minimalist time-forms or time-objects as vehicles of significant communicative power. I am enormously attracted to the work of Gerhard Richter, who often bases his art on photographs and other preexisting sources, and whose technique includes the ability to control radically different vocabularies, often within the same frame.

Passing Figure … 11.3 – 11.8.2008
Billboard … 11.10 – 11.15.2008
Visions Fugitive … 11.17 – 11.22.2008

Atrium Gallery – Western Michigan University

Michael Lasater – South Bend Indiana


Marina Abramović | 10.25 – 11.1.2008

courtsey of the Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/TBA
© Marina Abramović, The Onion, 1996 – 20:00 mins
see video excerpt

The first shot is a close up of Abramović looking upward and holding a large onion. Her fingernails are painted bright red, just like her lips. Slowly she brings the onion closer to her mouth, taking a large bite from it and beginning to chew. Her voice-over keeps repeating the following as she devours the onion: ‘I’m tired of changing planes so often, waiting in the waiting rooms, bus stations, train stations, airports. I am tired of waiting for endless passport controls. Fast shopping in shopping malls. I am tired of more career decisions: museum and gallery openings, endless receptions, standing around with a glass of plain water, pretending that I am interested in conversation. I am tired of my migraine attacks. Lonely hotel room, room service, long distance telephone calls, bad TV movies. I am tired of always falling in love with the wrong man. I am tired of being ashamed of my nose being too big, of my ass being too large, ashamed about the war in Yugoslavia. I want to go away. Somewhere so far that I’m unreachable, by telephone or fax. I want to get old, really, really old, so that nothing matters any more. I want to understand and see clearly what is behind all of us. I want not to want anymore.’

As she is complaining, Abramović is noticeably agitated by eating the raw onion. Her eyes are tearing up, her saliva is dripping out of her mouth as her lipstick is rubbed off and bits of onion layers stick to her face. Her chewing is slowing down, but she continues to take ferocious bites from the onion while the voice-over continues. In certain respects, ‘The Onion’ shows familiarities with early performances like ‘Art must be Beautiful, Artists must be Beautiful’, in which Abramović is violently brushing her hair and face while reciting the title of the piece. As the early performances revolve around mental and physical limits of pain, ‘The Onion’ resumes Marina’s dedication to idea of the inseparability of body and mind by challenging apparent limitations of physical stamina. The video is also part of the 16-channel installation ‘Video Portrait Gallery’ (Abramović 1975-2002).

The Onion … 10.25 – 11.1.2008

Atrium Gallery – Western Michigan University

Marina Abramović – New York New York

Sean Kelly Gallery

Andrew Kaufman | 9.2 – 9.20.2008

Andrew Kaufman
Hold On/ Hold Up
Video with no Sound
Running Time – 8:34 minutes
9.2 – 9.6.2008

Hold On/ Hold Up is a endurance video performance documenting myself struggling to hold onto a bar and hold a bar over my head for as long as possible. I understand this struggle as an allegory of the human condition, in which the changing contexts of the bar serves only as extreme ideological opposites bereft of empathy for the undertaking.

Andrew Kaufman
End Trajectory (Trauma Map)
Video with Sound
Running Time – 2:54 minutes
9.8 – 9.13.2008
see video

This video maps the destruction of five drinking glasses half filled with water. The jarring sound of the rupturing glasses is meant to create a sense of unease in an often-contemplative space. The conceptual beginning of this series of investigations was the events of September 11, 2002. I have shown this video with re-assembled drinking glasses on small pedestals.

Andrew Kaufman
Conquest of the Air
Video with Sound
Running Time – 15:00 minutes
9.15 – 9.20.2008
see video

Conquest of the Air is a short video performance documenting a collaborative effort to create a simple paper airplane. The video shows a close up view of a pair of hands trying to navigate a set of simple decisions to produce a paper airplane. The visual awkwardness that sometimes ensues is because one hand is mine and one hand is from a collaborator. Concepts such as invisibility, perception, collaboration, transformation and fun were the impetus for the performance.

Hold On/ Hold Up … 9.2 – 9.6.2008
End Trajectory (Trauma Map) … 9.8 – 9.13.2008
Conquest of the Air … 9.15 – 9.20.2008

Atrium Gallery – Western Michigan University

My artwork is a direct reflection of my own observations and experiences within society. Collecting these, I translate them into contemplative visual and experiential art. Since my work is driven by experience and idea, I am able to free myself from specific media concerns enabling the utilization of any medium that successfully develops my response. The multiplicity of forms I have created; which include painting, video, sculpture, and installation, are presented in such a way as to encourage the viewer to engage with them as an experience of space and form on a psychological, illusory and/or physical level.

Andrew Kaufman received his Master of Fine Arts degree in 2002 from the University of South Florida in a studio art program that emphasized the coupling of concept and form. Kaufman considers himself a convergent artist, letting idea dictate medium, which has led to a multiplicity of mediums that include video, sound, sculpture, painting and digital print. He has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, and recently was the recipient of an Artist Trust GAP grant for visual art. Andrew Kaufman is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Andrew Kaufman – Grinnell Iowa