UNTITLED: WHAT YOU SEE OR WHAT DO YOU SEE (KrieArt): 2014 Fringe Review 19

Visitor tagging art at UNTITLED. Photo by Osenlund.

Visitor tagging art at UNTITLED. Photo by Osenlund.

This entry in the Visual Art category is an art exhibit based on the association between the person looking at the art and the meaning ascribed to the art itself.  The artist, Krie Alden, who spoke to me at the event, is excited to be a part of FringeArts, and she loves the idea of “the Fringe being on the fringe, where they support the unexpected.” Ms. Alden sees a painting as “a dialog that happens in the moment.” She does not provide viewers with object labels containing a canned description or explanation of her paintings. She relies on those who see the works to relate to them on their own terms, and tell her what they see. The specific interaction in this exhibit takes place when a person looks at a painting and tags it. That is, visitors or “audience” members are invited to write on a tag the title, name, or any thought that a work evokes for them, and hang that tag on a peg under the work of art. Throughout the exhibit visitors can give names to as many pictures as speak to them. As the paintings accumulate multiple tags, guests can also mull over others’ suggested names for the works.  I read several creative titles scribbled on tags, and it was interesting to see how others’ takes on the art pieces might somewhat align with, wildly differ from, or influence my own response.

Although the collaborative approach of this particular show doesn’t immediately impact on the paintings themselves—the paintings are done deal—it does impact on that illusive thing called meaning. The artist plans to take the data gathered from this show into account for use in a future installation or event. Her tagline is: “What I love is not only what I see, but the possibility of what you see.” Music by Alden’s fave southern hip hop artist YelaWolf wafts into the art space from a small speaker in the corner. It had been looped for her performance art event involving bicycles that just ended. The music was left on, stealthily adding shape to the viewing experience, and resonating with the paintings and all the things going on in them. [Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catherine St.] Sept. 6-20, 2014 (check for specific dates)http://fringearts.com/event/untitled-what-you-see-or-what-do-you-see/.

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About the author

Kathryn Osenlund, theater and film junkie, is a former National Critics Institute fellow, NEA fellow in Arts Journalism, and member of the American Theater Critics Assn Steinberg and Osborn playwriting awards committee. A Barrymore Award nominator and professor emeritus in communications and theater, Kathryn also writes for NY-based CurtainUp.com. On twitter @theatrendorphin.