Opening Reception: Four Summer Exhibitions

Fri, Jun 29
  • 20 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Main Gallery: Working Hard to be Useless | JUN 29 - DEC 29, 2018

Although there are positive aspects of the current push for urban development and densification of city centers, the questions of who benefits from that development and who does it negatively affect arises. Public spaces become less public with the inclusion of well-designed but also well hidden “defensive architecture,” dictating who can and cannot use the space. Walkability, which is defined by the final destination and not by the act of leisurely wandering the city, is touted as the ultimate goal, but walkability to where and why? To work, to shopping centers, or to public parks? Does use become prescribed in these new spaces? If so, how do we react to these restrictions?

Working Hard to be Useless examines these issues through the lens of Situationist International ideas and aesthetics. The Situationists were a group of artists and theorists that operated in Europe during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Their work critiqued what they called “advanced capitalism” and the related "spectacle of commodity" in urban centers. They developed strategies for resisting the spectacle including Anti-Art, the Dérive, Detournement, and Psychogeography. Each action allowed the artists to subvert the status quo they felt was damaging everyday life.

The artists in Working Hard to be Useless carry on the practices of the Situationists, incorporating their strategies as a way to evaluate current urban design and growth.

ED Space - Josh Samson: The Identity Project | JUN 1 - JUL 28, 2018

What is your identity? Or what is “identity” for that matter? Not meant to define identity, but instead, this project creates an opportunity to inspire conversations and reflection about the identities we all hold: those assigned to us, those we are expected to follow, and those that are truest to ourselves. The question remains: What is your identity?

Projects Gallery: SLUG Retrospective: 30 Years Under the Influence | JUN 29 - OCT 20, 2018

Much in the same way the Situationist International agenda was adopted into the punk music scene in London during the mid to late 1970's, SLUG, whether knowingly or unknowingly, filtered similar ideas and aesthetics into their representation of Salt Lake's counterculture beginning in the late 1980's. This exhibition explores the Situationist lineage, the history of SLUG magazine, and the lasting effect both have on Salt Lake's underground scene.

AIR Space - Alison Neville: M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) | JUN 29 - Oct 13, 2018

M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) consists of two parts: a mixed media sculpture series and a coloring book. Both explore how governments are perfecting a means to kill through nuclear testing programs and simultaneously inform their people through public education programs. The testing is done as a means of protecting the people but the end result is a mutated global foreign policy.

The sculpture series serves to relate information about different test sites from the programs conducted by the United States, Russia, and North Korea. There is a map for each location and a mushroom for every above-ground, fallout-generating, nuclear weapon test in the history of each program, all built on Cold War-era desks.

The coloring book contains imagery of the nuclear weapon detonations that have been colored in with the collaboration of children ages five to twelve. While many of them are fanciful interpretations now, their significance will emerge in time.

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