February 7, 2009

Thanks, Hank Hoffman, for writing about my project in Hartford

Hank Hoffman at Connecticut Art Scene reviewed "Lost and Found," a show at the Connecticut Commission for Culture that includes my recent project "The Search For Moby Dicks." Here's what he had to say about it.

"I took in 'Lost and Found,' a show featuring works created by artists who have received Commission fellowships. According to the statement about the show, these are pieces created by artist 'who sift through their cultural, visual and physical surroundings to create new moments and objects from the fragments they collected.' This is art as a process of taking the varied materials of everyday life and investing in them creative energy and personal spirit. We live in a recycling culture, on a constant quest to make it new. There is a drive to find the personal and individual in that which appears old and worn out, whether that means physical objects or artistic practices. With many of these artists, that process begins with the need to look intently....

"Occasional Connecticut Art Scene contributor Sharon Butler's multimedia work approaches these ideas from a different angle. 'The Search for Moby Dicks,' a PowerPoint presentation and accompanying digital photographs on paper, document her quest for the great white whale. But rather than riding the high seas to slay the mythical mammal—which, at any rate, would violate international treaties and inflame good environmentalists everywhere—Butler is searching for the way the name of Herman Melville's novelistic creation has migrated from high culture into a more prosaic, often commercial, use. The project consists of finding and documenting businesses named 'Moby Dick' throughout North America and Europe and then telling the story of the search. Butler photographed the establishments and interviewed owners and managers as to why they chose the name. If Lindroth, Schultz and Erickson are turning detritus into culture, Butler (in a sense) is in search of the way culture turns into detritus. (That she then reinvests in her discovery on the cultural plane could make one's head swim.)" Read more.

"Lost & Found – Fragments Assembling Realities," organized by John O'Donnell. Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Gallery, Hartford, CT. Through February 6. Through February 6. Artists include Pam Erickson, Bob Gluck, Linda Lindroth, Cynthia Beth Rubin, Susan Schultz, Rashmi Talpade and Claire Zoghb.

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