Denison Senior Presents Art Installation
Posted: March 26, 2007
"Sotsuten," an installation by Denison University senior Matthew Messmer that depicts how people create private space within a greater public space, will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday (April 13) at the Denison Museum in Burke Hall.
The installation, which is interactive and multi-level in interpretation, "was inspired by my year in Japan as a commuter in Tokyo," Messmer said. He spent his junior year studying at Waseda University and had a two-hour commute each way by train.
Photos and video combine to form the imagery of the installation. Instead of artwork hung on walls, the entire room serves as the artwork. It becomes an archetypal public place through the use of projected video, which was taken by Messmer while in Tokyo. Hanging computer screens stream shots of people reading books, sleeping, listening to music and other facets of tuning out the world that's happening around them.
Viewers of the installation become part of the artwork just by being there. Their experience is enhanced by the use of one-way mirrored plastic, which reflects the activity in the room and conversely, highlights personal space. "They can see into the space created by the one-way plastic," Messmer said, "but when the viewer enters that space, they are confronted with their own reflection as well as the video in front of them...through the one-way mirrors, they're also watched by people in the gallery. That's the key part of it."
The installation will be Messmer's BFA thesis exhibition and the name of the installation, Sotsuten, is an amusing play on words in Japanese that combines characters from the words "graduation thesis" and "art exhibition" and is not translatable into English, he said.
Messmer, who is from Phoenix, received the Juror's Award for a woodblock print at the Five Colleges of Ohio Student Biennial art exhibit at Wooster College in 2006. His work will be featured this coming November (2007) during a two-person exhibition at the Roy G Biv Gallery in Columbus's Short North District. Messmer's work also has been accepted into numerous juried shows including:
Messmer's solo installation coincides with the Denison University Senior Art Exhibition 2007, held at Denison Museum and will be up through April 19th. The Denison Museum is open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. daily in Burke Hall (240 West Broadway). There is no admission charge.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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