Still from "New Beijing, New Marriage," 2009
by Fan Popo and David Cheng
Gay marriage is a hotly debated topic with people both passionately for and against legally recognizing the union of gay and lesbian couples.
But for all the debate around marriage, there isn't much discussion of gay relationships.
Form and Content and Traffic Zone galleries in Minneapolis are co-presenting an exhibition titled "Love Never Dies." It's curated by Jim Dryden and Howard Oransky with the support of the Walker Art Center, and is a sequel to a group show they organized in 2007 about GLBT identity, called "Modes of Disclosure." Oransky says they wanted to open up a dialogue about aspects of gay relationships that don't often get discussed.
The reality is that people are loving each other and committing themselves to each other and hoping for the approval of the broader community, but regardless of whether they get it or not, these things are happening.
At the entrance to the Form and Content gallery is a video piece about a lesbian couple's wedding celebration, as documented by their teenage daughters. Next to it stands and art book featuring portraits of GLBT families taken at Sears. Oransky says this celebration of GLBT families serves as a centerpiece to the exhibition; the other works in the gallery reflect the commentary swirling around gay relationships.
Hey Hetero! 2001 (one of a six part series)
Deborah Kelly and Tina Fiveash
"Love Never Dies" brings together work from around the United States (California, Hawaii, Minnesota) and around the world (Norway, China, Italy, Australia, Canada). And in many instances the videos, prints, photographs and sculpture use humor to disarm the viewer.
Deborah Kelly and Tina Fiveash created a series of posters that have been posted on billboards and in magazines all over their native Australia. Oransky says the posters are so slickly designed that they draw in the viewers before they've figured out what the message is.
In the simplest of terms it puts reality in front of you in a way it hasn't before. Like "Hey Hetero! Have a baby - No National Debate:" why do we have to have a debate over having children? Yet gay couples do.
Plush Pony, 1992 by Laura Aguilar
Silver gelatin print
The exhibition includes three photographs by Laura Aguilar taken in 1992 in Rosemead California, at the dyke bar "Plush Pony." Oransky particularly loves the photo shown above.
It conveys a whole mixture of emotions, love, mischief, sexuality, adoration, and self awareness that "we're different and we're proud."
Oransky and Dryden are both in their 50s, and Oransky says the exhibition was in part inspired by seeing a younger generation of committed GLBT couples emerging in the gay marriage debate. Oransky says he also wanted to explore how an individual's perspective on their sexuality and their body changes over time.
Gender and sexuality are fluid ideas that exist in the mind and are expressed through our bodies. These things are interpreted and reinterpreted by individuals in different ways at different points in their lives. Even a heterosexual is going to go through transformations in relation to his/her sexuality through the course of a lifetime. The same man at age 13 and age 83 will define and express himself sexually in very different ways.
Protester at Gay Marriage Rights Rally, 2006 by Terry Gydesen
Local photographer Terry Gydessen went to a debate at the Capitol Building in St. Paul in 2006, and documented the ant-gay marriage sentiment she found there.
Oransky says while the focus of the exhibition is gay relationships, it couldn't ignore the debate on gay marriage.
You very quickly pick up on the fact that the exhibition has a lot of humor and playfulness, but we can't ignore that there's a lot of serious politics going on around this issue, not just here in the Twin Cities but all around the world.
Other works in the exhibition explore what it means to be a "bride?" What is a bride? Who is a bride? Must they be married to men? Can a lesbian be a bride?
Frank A. GåRDSø and Eirik Tyrihjel
Still from "Love Never Dies," 2003
16 mm film transferred to DVD, 2 minutes, 56 seconds
The exhibition takes its name from a short film projected on the back wall of the Form and Content Gallery. "Love Never Dies" is three minute piece from Olso, Norway, and it starts out with an elderly man sitting in his room (perhaps in an assisted living residence), fiddling with his wedding ring and adjusting his tie while looking out the window. A taxi comes up, someone gets out and comes to the door. It's then you realize that it's another elderly man. They embrace and walk down the hall together.
Oransky says one thing all human beings share is the absolute need for affection, and to be connected to another person.
There'are some things that all human beings have in common, and some things that make us different. What we all share is the need to love and be loved, and there so many ways in which that can happen. That diversity of expression is part of what makes us human.
"Love Never Dies" open May 20 at Form and Content and Traffic Zone Galleries in downtown Minneapolis, with an opening reception on Saturday, June 5 from 7 - 10pm. This exhibition is being presented in cooperation with Walker Art Center, in conjunction with its film festival Queer Takes.(6 Comments)
The hounds hunt down artists provoked by the mysteries of science, theater performers who transform Shakespeare's sonnets, and the rowdy, eccentric cowboy who inspired David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust.
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How do art and science relate to each other? Charlene Ellingson has spent many years as a science teacher in Minneapolis public schools pondering that question, and she's hoping a new exhibition at the Phipps Center For the Arts in Hudson will supply some answers. It's called "Shedding Light: Art Explores Science," and features paintings, drawings and mixed media installations that illuminate things normally left to scientists. Through June 6.
For many, Shakespeare's sonnets represent literary perfection, but they certainly weren't meant for the stage. Until now. Actor, director and playwright David Mann fills us in on the Classical Actors Ensemble's "Complete Sonnets Festival," at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis May 21-23.
Sometimes-painter and musician Amanda Gullixson of Eagle Lake complains about the dearth of interesting music in nearby Mankato. But Amanda will have her hands full with a double bill at the Red Sky Lounge that features the Legendary Stardust Cowboy alongside the Fleshtones. The Legendary Stardust Cowboy led David Bowie to invent his Ziggy Stardust character. The show is a free 'listener appreciation party' for supporters of local community radio station KMSU.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.(1 Comments)
Posted at 6:00 PM on May 20, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Architecture
A detail from the exterior of the Jackson County Resource Center - formerly the Jackson High School - which may be torn down to make way for a new resource center.
Photo by Doug Ohman of Pioneer Photography.
Each year the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota announces what it considers to be the ten most endangered historic places, in an attempt to inspire public support and advocacy for their preservation and restoration. The Preservation Alliance is hoping to raise money for its efforts tonight with what it's calling an "Anti-Wrecking Ball" at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis.
Here are the unlucky "winners" of 2010:
The Bessesen Building, Albert Lea
This three-story opera house and conservatory was built by a wealthy young doctor in a (successful) attempt to woo worldly opera singer Beatrice Gjertsen, who shortly thereafter became Beatrice Bessessen (the building is inscribed with her intials). $100,000 is needed to stabilize the building and perform needed roofing, window, and masonry repairs.
Roseville Dairy Queen
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Minnesota's Oldest Dairy Queen, Roseville
1720 North Lexington Avenue in Roseville is the home to Minnesota's oldest Dairy Queen. Built in the early 1950s, the building features soaring, angled glass planes, a concrete block base, and a large, distinctive neon sign. However the current owner is considering demolishing the existing building and replacing it with a new Dairy Queen.
Dodd Ford Bridge, Amboy
Blue Earth County's Dodd Ford Bridge dates back to 1901 when farmers needed help transporting equipment and goods over the Blue Earth River to Amboy. Threatened with replacement since the 1970s, the bridge is believed to be one of only a few remaining camelback truss bridges in the state.
Garrison Concourse, Garrison
Known best perhaps for the mammoth walleye replica in its center, the Garrison concourse was designed by the National Park Service and constructed between 1936 and 1939. It's widely considered one of the finest roadside rest areas in Minnesota, but after seventy years, the concourse is reflecting its age. The most critical area is the base of the overlook wall, which has been repeatedly thrashed by waves and ice.
Todd County Courthouse, Long Prairie
The Todd County Courthouse is one of only a dozen historic courthouses in Minnesota that were built before 1890. It's already listed in the National Register of Historic Places for both its architectural and historical significance, but since 2006 it's only been used for storage. The Todd County Board of Commissioners has decided to put the preservation of the building to a county-wide vote in November.
Wesley United Methodist Church, Minneapolis
Wesley United Methodist Church was built in 1891, and now sits across from the modern Minneapolis Convention Center. Both the exterior and interior of Wesley Church are designated local landmarks, a rare distinction. But because the building currently has no congregation and is a substantial financial drain, the Minnesota Conference of United Methodists is now considering a range of options that may include selling Wesley to the highest bidder on the open real estate market.
Great Northern Railway Depot
Photo by Kate Scott of Black Box Images
Great Northern Railway Depot, Princeton
Built in 1902 to accommodate regional railroad freight and passengers traveling along the Milaca Line, Princeton depot is now the only remaining Queen Anne-style brick and stone depot built along James J. Hill's famed Great Northern Railway. The Milaca line was abandoned in 1981, and now the depot serves as home to the Mille Lacs County Historical Society. Unfortunately the society lacks the funds to replace the roof, as well as the buildings electrical, fire-suppression, and life-safety systems.
Jackson Country Resource Center
Photo by Doug Ohman of Pioneer Photography
Jackson County Resource Center, Jackson
Formerly known as Jackson High School, this building of the county resource center was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, and many of its builders were members of its first graduating class who went on to become the "Greatest Generation." The building exterior has inscribed stone ornamentation characteristic of the Art Deco style, while the interior features wrought iron railings, decorative tilework, dark oak cabinetry, and a 700-seat auditorium-gymnasium with wood seats and stylized light fixtures. Now the county is looking to tear down the high school and erect a new resource center in its place.
Samuel J. Hewson House, Minneapolis
This private residence is a victim of the recent foreclosure crisis. The Samuel J. Hewson House was built in 1905 and its elaborate interior decoration is particularly vulnerable to theft or being stripped and sold piecemeal. In addition, the longer the house remains empty, the more likely it suffer water damage, neglect or vandalism. In order to survive, the Hewson House needs a new owner who will invest in its preservation.
Southeast St. Cloud Neighborhood, St. Cloud
Southeast St. Cloud is filled with properties that are listed, or are eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. But the proposed University Drive Corridor Project (designed to deal with area traffic) threatens to adversely affect several properties, as well as the look and feel of the entire neighborhood.
Since the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota began putting out its Top Ten list seventeen years ago, it's helped save 66 buildings from destruction.
Posted at 3:16 PM on May 20, 2010
by Chris Roberts
Filed under: Museums
The Walker Art Center is cutting its operating budget by 8 percent in the coming fiscal year (from $19.1 million to $17.6 million) and eliminating nine positions.
The Walker says the cutbacks are due to the recession's impact on the museum's endowment, earned income and charitable contributions, which are flat or in decline.
The Walker didn't specify which positions were being eliminated, but a spokesperson says they span the institution, including programming and support staff. In a prepared statement, the Walker's director Olga Viso says
"The Walker will continue to provide a robust, ambitious, and innovative level of programming that highlights new partnerships across the institution. We will continue to advance the Walker's artistic mission and serve our community even following these reductions."
The Walker also announced that Viso will give back 10 percent of her salary and benefits in the upcoming fiscal year. The layoffs amount to 6 percent of the Walker's total workforce.