Tamar Ettun: Festivity Inflation
Exhibit Dates: Oct. 12 – Dec. 15
Opening Reception: Performance and ArtWalk 5- 9 p.m. Oct. 12, UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is pleased to provide the culmination of a multiyear international art tetralogy by Tamar Ettun.
Festivity Inflation merges different areas of the artist’s practice in a complex examination of injury, healing, and radical empathy.
On view in the museum’s East Gallery from Oct. 12 to Dec. 15, this solo exhibition consists of a number of parts. At the center, there is an intimate compartment including a setup of interactive audio work. It is surrounded by mixed media sculptures, a choice of speculative videos, and 4 inflatable room-sized environments where visitors will be enveloped by a climate of brilliant color. Influenced by the avant-garde individualism of mid-twentieth century art motions such as Fluxus and Gutai, Ettun asks us to check out the experience of play. Playfulness, in the context of her work, uses us a possibility to process our engagement with the world. The selection of artist videos includes work by Alika Cooper, Cheryl Donegan, Trulee Hall, Joan Jonas, and Jen Liu.
Tina Wang, a very long time collaborator and “mover” from Ettun’s New York performance ensemble, The Moving Business, will visit Las Vegas to collaborate with regional dancers in a live improvisation of ritual-like actions that link personal vocabularies of object-oriented movement with the generation of an unique neighborhood. Motion is important to Ettun’s work. Even her still sculptures have been constructed so that they appear to gesture like bodies. Made from cloth and discovered objects, they experience the space of the gallery with an aura of vulnerable personhood. That atmosphere of vulnerability extends into the snug main location of the exhibition where a video shows us how interactions with soda bottles, sardine tins, and other commodities can end up being primal expressions of alarm and desire. Flights of paratroopers in another video invert their encounter with the sky and float back into their airplanes.
The question of negotiating a world where we are exposed to both discomfort and joy has played a consistent role in Ettun’s career. The human potential for transformation through compassion has actually absorbed her considering that her training in Israel where she lived with 2 siblings struggling with cystic fibrosis and eventually experienced the numbing effect of institutional brutality when she was conscripted into a military parachute routine as a young adult.
“I observed closely how handling injury and PTSD increases rigidness and closes down communication, as discussion requires a versatile position and consists of the prospective to alter and be changed by another individual,” she says. “This individual experience resulted in a few of the themes of my practice today– for instance, my resistance to basic binaries of right and incorrect, which I experience through the fluidity of play and the senses.” The transformation of parachute fabric from a vehicle for martial hostility into the soft, intense walls of her inflatable rooms typifies the alchemy she produces. Her structured areas reveal the human spirit through simple materials such as material, inflated air, tape, stitches, ropes, and wood.
Each previous iteration of the tetralogy has actually found brand-new methods to draw connections in between color and emotion, dividing the task into blue/empathy, yellow/desire, pink/aggression, and orange/joy. Festivity Inflation brings all four aspects together for the first time, introducing Las Vegas and the western United States to the world of Tamar Ettun at a turning point in her career.
The title for the exhibit is influenced by On Orange, a poem by Rose McLarney. This project is funded in part by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state company, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal company.
Ettun is a sculptor and a performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York City. She has actually had exhibits and performances at Art Omi Sculpture Garden, the Watermill Center, e-flux, Sculpture Center, Knockdown Center, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, Socrates Sculpture Park, Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, Uppsala Art Museum, Fridman Gallery, Braverman Gallery, PERFORMA 09, 11 and 13, to name a few. She got awards and fellowships from the Pollock Krasner Structure, Franklin Heater, Macdowell Fellowship, Marble Home Job, RECESS, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Art Production Fund, and Iaspis. Ettun founded the Moving Company, an artist’s collective developing efficiencies in public spaces and a social engagement job with Brooklyn teens hosted by the Brooklyn Museum. Ettun got her MFA from Yale University in 2010 where she was granted the Alice English Kimball Fellowship. She studied at Cooper Union in 2007, while earning her BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem. She teaches at Columbia University’s School of Arts, Lehman College, and the New School Parsons School of Design. ORANGE, the final performance of the tetralogy, will premiere at Leader Works in 2019.