The Poor Man's Art Collective and Things Feel Heavy present: «The Collective Experiment», a Carr Center Duo-exhibition
featuring on-site art installations
— This exhibition explores the idea of 'The Art Collective' by looking at how artists function within collectives, how two different collectives function independently in the same city, and what happens when you bring separate collective members together in the same exhibtion. The idea being that collectives are not just about collaboration, but also about expansion and inclusion, as well as individuality within the larger group; bringing individual voices into conversation with each other.
— Opening Reception Friday, January 12th
Free and Open to the Public
Conversation w/The Artists
6pm — 8pm
an intimate discussion and tour of the exhibition
“Evan St. Jasthane's Astounding Sideshow”
7pm — 9pm
Performance by «The Collective Experiment» artist Steven Athanas.
Artist, musician, poet and curmudgeon Steven J. Athanas will transform the gallery into a circus sideshow, assume the role of a sideshow barker as he introduces visitors to his freakish characters and amusing narratives, all whimsically rendered in colorful watercolors and ink, with accompanying “pomes” — a term the artist uses for his unique form of poetry.
— — The Poor Man's Art Collective participating artists:
Things Feel Heavy participating artists:
[Anna van Schaap]
The Sien Collective (Meagan Shein and Siobhan Arnold)
— The Collective Experiment:
The one thing all human beings share in common is that we live the life we have, then inevitably pass from this world. No matter who you are, where you were born, wether you’re rich or poor, that will not change- try as we might, we cannot escape our inevitable end. Most psychologists would argue it is the conscious awareness of our mortality that leads to our greatest and worst attributes; the defining characteristics of our humanity: compassion, generosity, love, as well as fear, envy, and hatred. We are simultaneously giving, and ardently self-serving. We want to move mountains, but are painfully indifferent to the small things that matter. We are constantly in search of answers, but will happily live in denial when they come in the form of something antithetical to our own intrenched beliefs. Denial is maladaptive and severely limits our growth and potential, yet it is our most utilized coping strategy. Paradoxically, ideologies
and belief systems that are a source of emotional comfort and relief from a sense of aloneness, also polarize people against each other. Threatened by people with different customs and beliefs, we mistakenly feel that we must overcome or even destroy ‘the other’. The world is basically chaos, so we create systems, and find collectives of people who share similar beliefs in order to navigate this life. Art Collectives operate in much the same way, providing stability in turbulence.
Art Collectives are a long-used strategy in the art world to solidify identity, garner support for a cause or concept, and offer a reflexive look at the world beyond the collective. They help organize systems of thought and create opportunities and movements where there was once a singular vision. ‘The Collective Experiment’ is a double-entendre: this exhibtion is literally an experiment between two artist collectives that operate in very different ways, to see what dialog is created when put into one space, and what similarities or differences can be inferred by comparing two different collectives operating in the same city with vastly different artists. From a more general and philosophical standpoint however, 'the collective experiment’ also refers to the existentialist idea of humanity- the collective voices and experiences of people from all walks of life; the variation in thought, action, and belief, and that which manifests from it. Everything that we as humans think, what we think about others, how we understand the world around us and operate within it, how we organize ourselves in chaos, and specifically, how that
consciousness impacts the work we do and the contributions we make. All the artists in this exhibtion are opperating as a part of a specific collective, but also understand their own work is singular and unique to themselves- which is quite a nice metaphor for what the 'collective experiment' universally signifies.