Press Release Archive
June 29 - August 9
The American vocabulary is full of the bravado of superlatives. Products, from tires to frozen yogurt, are sold on the basis on their ability to provide or enhance “extreme” experience. Cell phones and technological devices boast extreme miniaturization, while other cultural expressions, from soft drinks to churches, are incessantly super-sized.
Extreme sports evoke intensified visceral reactions in the competitors as well as their adrenalin-addicted audience. Sporting events have become blood sport, adulating danger and brutal contact over skill, discipline and grace . Performance-enhancing cocktails used by athletes are leading to extreme record-setting, significantly changing the character and profit margin of professional sports. Extreme visceral response, titillation, churning repulsion, exaggerated risk, gratuitous violence, horror, zombies and roller coasters have become our entertainment.
The quest for an exaggerated idealized version of the human body, enabled by excessive diets, drugs, serial surgeries and body modifications, has brought a rethinking of the limits of human form and to impossible expectations for the body’s ability to experience, represent, and withstand natural processes.
This quest applies also to improving “nature”, with untested bioengineering and nanotechnology and drug-saturation of animals and crops.
Contemporary political culture has also moved toward extremes. Inflamed polarized verbal battles, which distort and ignore facts, substitute for respectful meaningful dialogue. The manipulative intensity of zealotry and bigotry distracts from consideration of deep complex issues that each era must face.
Subcultures develop around an extreme which is set as the norm and coheres the group. Repetition of extremes leads to personal and cultural adaptation and eventually shifts the norm.
Competition, narcissism and domination have replaced the more evolved principals of altruism, compassion, and cooperation. Extensive disparity between the classes, with extreme righteous display of materialism and consumption are excused by a resurgence of Ayn Rand’s sophomoric tracts.
As scientists predicted, nature too has become extreme in response to profound global climate shifts. Is it possible that the bizarre attraction of humans to intense exaggerated extremes is an unconscious response to the underlying extremes that the land itself faces? Alone and isolated, seeking constant stimulation, are we distracting ourselves from the knowledge that the bigger and better world we are trying to construct is no substitute for participation in the whole of the natural world, which recently characterized human beings?
ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBIT consider their various understandings and expressions of what constitutes the extreme in today’s dynamic world.
They explore the means by which artists represent the extreme and its impact on their art, their lives and consciousness. They explore the visual and visceral process of making art that expresses the extreme, utilizing methods and materials to express the extreme. They might use contrast and juxtaposition, intensified color, enlargement and exaggeration, obsessive repetition, minute and intricate detail, or the barely visible and hidden. They might emphasize motion and gesture or add sound to grab the attention and challenge the perception and ideas of the observer.
Gallery Project is a fine art collaborative. Its mission is to provide a venue for contemporary
art that is culturally aware, individualistic, courageous, and thought provoking. Gallery Project
is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is located at 215 South Fourth Avenue in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. Fall/Winter gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon-9; and Sunday, noon-4.
The gallery is closed on Mondays. For more information, please call 734-997-7012 or contact us
through our website: www.thegalleryproject.com.