Amy Bennett

Ethics of Depiction: Still life, Landscape, Human

9.9–19.11 2017, Oakland University Art Gallery

Ethics of Depiction: Landscape, Still Life, Human

Curated by Dick Goody

Featuring: Matthew Albanese, Greta Alfaro, David Allee, Jasper de Beijer, Amy Bennett, Julie Blackmon, Sharon Core, Roe Ethridge, Richard Finkelstein, April Gornik, David Hilliard, Alex Kanevsky, Patrick Lee, Richard Mosse, Michael Najjar, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Richard Renaldi, Becky Suss, Jörn Vanhöfen and Guido van der Werve.

“I think that the artist is, in a way, a spokesperson for a generation or country or specific group. I mean, he or she puts his or her life in service of feelings. By taking more time to use your emotions and senses, you become sharper and more sensitive than other people. It’s your job to utilize your feelings so that more people can feel these things or get comfort through your work.”

Guido van der Werve

A fascination with the specificity and veracity of content in contemporary image making is what fuels this exhibition. The depiction of places, objects and people has been the raw material of visual art for millennia, and this capacity to record and editorialize subject matter is what makes visual art such a crucially informing and contextualizing pictorial capture of the time of its production.

These works represent something just short of an inundation of content, and the presentation – “salon style” – affirms the idea that kaleidoscopic subject matter is enriching and arouses curiosity about the way in which contemporary artists use data and themes in their work to create a reflection of their lifespan on earth. The ethos of the exhibition sees parallels with the cabinets of curiosities from the past. Like the curious viewers of old encountering such astonishing collections of objects, we today also experience a primary emotional connection to this type of work because its meaning is self-evident.

This exhibition is about the way objects, landscapes, and people can be rendered unambiguously and ethically (as opposed to metaphorically or abstrusely). Most of the images in the exhibition act as metonyms and so are not to be interpreted because they speak precisely and specifically for what they are.

Upcoming Exhibition

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