MFA Alumna Anne Labovitz’s exhibition “122 Conversations” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Person to Person, Art Beyond Borders is an artist led project based on the art of engagement — art derived from the process of interconnection and cross-cultural dialogue. Sponsored by the Tweed Museum of Art the project has been produced in collaboration with Duluth Sister Cities, International and University of Minnesota Duluth, School of Fine Arts. It celebrates the combined 122 years of relationship that Duluth has had with five sister Cities: Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan, Växjö, Sweden, Petrozavodsk, Russia, Thunder Bay, Canada and Ohara-Isumi City, Japan.
The artwork in the exhibition represents two years of planning and 60 Skype or in-person interviews involving ten residents from each of the five sister cities, including the mayor of each city. The large-scale paintings created by Labovitz in her studio are inspired by the spirited interview exchanges. The words of the conversations have been inscribed within each artwork through drawing, painting or carving; then embedded within overlapped translucent polymer layers on paper. Each of the artworks depict an interpretative vision of the conversations that include faces, words, and descriptions of the experiences that relate to the individuals involved.
Cut into multiple pieces and then shipped to each of the venues and reassembled for exhibition, the work is adapted to the individual site per the participants’ and curators’ preference. Beginning in September 2015 and continuing through 2018, each city will host a public viewing of the exhibition: Thunder Bay, Canada (Fall 2015); Ohara-Isumi City, Japan (Winter 2016); Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan (2016); Petrozavodsk, Russia (Spring 2017); and Växjö, Sweden (Spring/Summer 2017), Duluth (Spring 2018).
Coinciding with the exhibition at each venue will be an artist-led workshop for area artists and members of the public. Each person will have two opportunities to contribute to the exhibition, collaboratively producing art pieces that will, in turn, travel with the show as it progresses from each city onto its culminating venue at the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth.
The first, “Choices” an oversized book of painted pages welcomes contributions of stories from exhibition visitors onto the backside of every page. The book will grow as the exhibition travels with new pages added at each city.
A second book will be created using large scale artworks that visitors have been invited to sign; each city receiving their own individualized piece. At the end of each venue exhibition, the piece will be divided and added to a book. The pages thus become cumulative.
Lastly, voices of the interview participants have been collected and excerpted in a sound piece called Voices by sound artist Abi Tariq that will allow audiences a chance to sense the texture and feel of the participants’ expressions and language during the interviews.
60 second spot encapsulating the project:
Interview on WDIO with Anne Labovitz discussing 122 Conversations:
10 minute video with excerpts of interviews with project participants, including the mayor of Duluth:
More infos : http://122conversations.com/