Sparse, Vague & Infinitely Deep - "Strangers to Ourselves" Opens Tonight at The FUTURE PRESENCE Gallery

Friday, October 28th 2011 6-11PM

This calm and chilly late October evening, with Halloween's eeriness thick in the air, is a time when we are all a bit truer to ourselves when in disguise. Perhaps fittingly, it is also the Opening Reception of  The Future Presence Gallery of Austin Swearengin & Derek Ernster's semi-collaborative effort, 'Strangers to Ourselves'.

Although the exhibit is titled after Timothy D. Wilson's book of the same name, there are intentionally very few clues as to any specific meaning or intent behind the exhibition.  On display are some ten pieces, including sculpture, video, photography and painting pieces, each with its own subtle clues as to an overall theme. Ernster and Swearengin, both students at MCAD and from the same hometown of Kansas City, insist there is more than meets the eye.  Swearengin states, "(this show)...explores perception as medium, and unconscious effects of optics and architecture on human awareness...the exhibition questions previous understandings of optics and phenomenology in the artistic sphere."

The Future Presence Gallery as a space will definitely feature strongly in this exhibition, as the pieces themselves are rather quite and subdued, and reflect their surroundings quite intensely.  It is my opinion that many Minneapolis art enthusiasts, perhaps more used to the graffiti and Pop Art-influenced shows that are so prevalent here, might not immediately favor this rather quiet display. However, the more time spent with these pieces, the more they have to whisper to you.  Calling on traditions of Op Art, Assemblage and Appropriation, the pieces begin to connect themselves to each other, and to the space itself.  I am also reminded to the work of Richard Tuttle, who at a time when Abstract Expressionism's bravado and massive scale was the national style, created soft and gentle works to combat this arm's race of peacocking. It is possible that many people will not glean a message from this sparse and challenging exhibition, but perhaps in a fast-paced, Google Image-fueled world, the still waters of this show may prove to run deeper.

The Opening Reception will be tonight from 6-11PM, and will run through the December 6th Closing Reception. Private viewings and Gallery Hours will be by appointment, and during upcoming the following upcoming events.

- The FREAKANOMIQUE Music Series Presents Jonathan Delehanty, performing his electronic symphonies PRISMS OPPOSED TO PRUDENCE. Jon Kuder (of Voyager) and Art Business will open. This event will also be the premier of the EON Soundspace, located within the gallery.
- First Monday Movies, a monthly screening of cult, classic and experimental films, will be showing Liquid Sky, alongside the premier of local film-maker Scott Anderson's 'Veritas/Truth'.

As always, this event is made entirely possible through generous support from Pabst Blue Ribbon and l'etoile Magazine

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