Arcadia University Art Gallery to present
No Bingo for Felons
Glenside, PA – Arcadia University Art Gallery is pleased to announce the presentation of No Bingo for Felons, an exhibition about the relationship between art and crime. Co-curated by artists Julian Hoeber and Alix Lambert, the show will be on view from August 28 through November 3, 2013. The exhibition will open with a panel discussion with the co-curators and photo-historian Luc Sante in the University Commons Great Room on August 28th at 6:30 pm, followed by a reception at the art gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.
No Bingo for Felons is the second installment of an evolving traveling exhibition that originated in Los Angeles last year under the title, No Person May Carry a Fish into a Bar. In its original version this show sought to ask the question "What is a crime?" The exhibition title, derived from an odd law still on the books in Southeastern Pennsylvania, points to definitions of criminal behavior as sometimes absurd, other times poetic, and occasionally humorous. The exhibition includes traditionally understood artworks, as well as objects and images produced through committing crimes and solving crimes. Many pieces on view are simultaneously artworks and the works of criminals or crime solvers.
In this second iteration of the exhibition, co-curators Hoeber and Lambert narrow their focus specifically on art that describes and alludes to violent crime in cities, while still defining crime and art loosely in order to raise questions about how we perceive both.
Works in the exhibition include images and objects made through forensic processes. Early 20th-century crime scene pictures from the collection of photo historian Luc Sante depict empty spaces that convey the sense that something has gone terribly wrong. Frank Bender's polychromed bust, though looking like a traditional sculpture turns out to be the portrait of a murder victim, made by reconstructing her image from unidentifiable remains and served as a key piece in solving the crime.
Other artists in the show capture crime more obliquely. Kori Newkirk takes newspaper images of crime and aligns them into a continuous composition giving the sense that even the disordered world of violence can be comprehended through order and elegance. Photographer Alyse Emdur documents prison visiting-rooms and the unexpected idealized landscapes often depicted on the walls in these spaces, which are intended to comfort inmates and their families. Victor Henderson creates ambiguous scenes of disaster and renders them impeccably. His drawings make reference to crime scene photography but depict a personal struggle and disaster.
One tactic deployed by artists in the exhibition is engagement with the law, either in the form of its enforcers or in the form of its documents. Artist Dread Scott depicts himself as a dissident, destroying a replica of the U. S. Constitution in an act of protest that reflects the tenuousness of laws applied with prejudice. Yoshua Okón presents a group of videos that document direct confrontations with police and reveal them as flawed people subject to their emotions rather than reasonable protectors of the law.
Artists Gregory Green, Kelly Poe and Mel Chin all raise the specter of violence through recreating weapons, but each in a distinct way. Green demonstrates how a layman can construct a perfectly working nuclear bomb. Green has said the intent of this artwork is to show "the real potential for chaos that is out there - the more we ignore the disenfranchised, the more the possibility of horror exists." Poe's work in the show is a sculptural recreation of an incendiary device used by Rod Coronado, an environmental and animal rights activist, to fight the fur trade. Poe’s longtime correspondence with imprisoned activists, often being held as domestic terrorists, is at the heart of her work. Exploring our own culpability in the destruction of the environment, Poe illustrates the direct link between urban industrialism and prison systems and the rapid loss of untouched natural resources. Chin's sculpture Home y Sew 9 consists of a Glock 9mm handgun that has had its interior gutted and replaced with a fully functioning “emergency gunshot trauma treatment kit.” Reversing the utility of the Glock to heal rather than harm, places emphasis on solution over destruction in urban communities with high crime rates.
The exhibition proceeds along two conceptual axes. The first locates works on a continuum between describing crime and participating in crime. The second locates the works between the fictional and the non-fictional. Together, they propose unforeseen conceptions of the “criminal” while articulating a range of human experiences produced by transgression.
About Arcadia University Art
nationally recognized venue for contemporary art in the greater Philadelphia
area, Arcadia University Art Gallery is a 1,100-square-foot facility (housed in
a 1893 power station) that has for over 30 years provided the region with a
stimulating roster of individual and thematic exhibitions shaped by its mission
to encourage dialogue among artists, educators, students and the general public
about current visual art and its socio-cultural relevance.
- The gallery is closed on Mondays.
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Thursdays, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Saturdays and Sundays, noon – 4:00 pm
always by appointment.
information about upcoming events, the exhibition, and directions to the gallery,
please visit our website at gallery.arcadia.edu or call (215) 572-2131/2133.