September 1–November 14, 2017
This BIG IDEA project considers the power of the narrator—a storyteller who shapes our experience of a story by determining the pace at which it unfolds, the order in which we learn about events, what details we’re given and what gets omitted. Sometimes narrators aren’t completely reliable, and their accounts can’t be implicitly trusted. They may lie (either directly or by omission) or perhaps misunderstand and misrepresent the events that occur in a story. An unreliable narrator may ask readers (or listeners, or viewers) to fill in the blanks, to question and to construct their own narrative structure as they read a book, watch a play or film, or view a work of art.
The Center’s exhibition for The Unreliable Narrator features art that invites viewers to question the story they are being told: What parts of the storyline can we believe? What don’t we know? What information do we need to fill in? Each of the exhibition’s six featured artists encourages us to engage with their artwork to complete its story.
Participating Artists include:
- Holly Andres, a Portland-based photographer known for her compelling narratives that unfold over a series of carefully constructed images, leaving room for viewers to complete the story using their own imaginations.
- Mark Dion, an internationally known artist whose works across a variety of media—drawing, sculpture, photography and film—borrows the language and methods of science to probe the relationship between science and its claim to truth.
- Simon Evans™, a creative collaboration between artists Simon Evans and Sarah Lannan, whose paper-based sculptural works combine text and images in creative, unexpected and often humorous ways.
- Jenny Kendler, the current artist-in-residence for the Natural Resources Defense Council, who has developed an artistic practice that marries her focus on the challenges facing the natural environment with her love of literature.
- Gina Phillips, a New Orleans multimedia artist who works with fabric, thread, ink and paint to create intricate installations that weave together narrative strands drawn from history, folklore and myth.
- Deb Sokolow, a Chicago-based artist who combines drawing and text in elaborate narrative works that use real historical figures as the starting point for dark but hilarious stories.
Associated Events: Unreliable Narrator
- Museum Exhibition 1–Nov. 14
- FREE Exhibition Opening Celebration and Gallery Walk Friday, Sept. 1, 5–7 p.m.
- FREE Evening Exhibition Tours Thursday, Sept. 28 & Oct. 19, 5:30 p.m.
- Film: Under the Sun Thursday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.
- Lecture: James B. Stewart, Thursday, Oct. 12, 6:30 p.m.
- Film: Nuts! Thursday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m.
- Adult Class / Creative Jump-in: How to Tell a Great Story Thursday, Oct. 26, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
- Theatre: Staged Reading of Pal / Conversation with Playwright Tasha Gordon-Solmon Friday, Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m.
- Teen Workshop: From the Page to Stage Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 28 & 29, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
- FREE Family Day Saturday, Nov. 4, 3–5 m.
- Public Storytelling with The Center and The Humming Bull date and time TBA