Faculty Throwdown I: The Architecture of Desire

Wednesday, September 10, 3:30 PM, 2008
I.D.E.A Space in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center

Join us as Colorado College professors Jonathan Lee (Philosophy) and Kathy Giuffre (Sociology) share and debate their interpretations of The Architecture of Desire.

The Architecture of Desire: Part II

Film Still, Lida Abdul
Film Still, Lida Abdul

November 3 – December 12, 2008
Gallery Hours:  Tuesday-Saturday, 12:30-7:00 pm
(Closed for Thanksgiving Break, 11/26-11/29/08)

Forced to leave Afghanistan as a child, Lida Abdul’s artworks address the ramifications of exile, war, and oppression. Her compelling images of bombed and ruined buildings challenge conventional thinking about architecture by forcing the viewer to confront the destroyed building not as a ruin or as empty space, but as an expression of architecture of absence. Born in Kabul in 1973, Lida Abdul left Afghanistan at the Soviet invasion in 1979. A 2006 recipient of the Prince Claus Laureate award, Abdul was the first Afghani artist to participate in the Venice Biennale (2005).

The Architecture of Desire is sponsored by: The Robert & Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and the Bee Vradenburg Foundation.

The Architecture of Desire: Part I

I.D.E.A Space
September 5 – October 22, 2008
Gallery Hours:  Tuesday-Saturday, 12:30-7:00 pm

The exhibition The Architecture of Desire takes Colorado College’s new Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center as its inspiration as well as its site. Created as a teaching and performance space for the arts, the Cornerstone building was designed by architect Antoine Predock with a very specific purpose: to inspire and facilitate collaborative creative activities. Using Cornerstone’s unique architecture as a springboard, The Architecture of Desire explores the idea that every building has a philosophy, a set of guiding principles that define its purpose and therefore its structure, by allowing or prohibiting certain movements or actions, a building’s structure in turn influences our beliefs and behaviors. Featuring site-specific installations by internationally renowned contemporary artists Cristina Iglesias, Runa Islam, and Lida Abdul, this two-part exhibition uncovers the ways in which architecture reflects our worldviews, shapes our actions, and constructs our desires.

Drawing from a variety of inspirations and materials, Spanish sculptor Cristina Iglesias creates architectonic spaces that mediate between industrial and organic environments. Structural influences include the perforated intaglio walls of a Moorish building, the camouflage proscenium of a surveillance hut, the enveloping canopy of a dense forest, or the contemplative protection of a medieval cloister. Created from natural materials such as twigs, sticks, and leaves that have been cast in a mixture of resin and bronze powder, Iglesias’ installation for The Architecture of Desire, Vegetation Room VI, tests the boundaries between industrial culture, the human body, and the natural world. Born in Spain in 1956, Iglesias was one of the youngest artists ever to receive a major exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 1997. She exhibits throughout Europe, Canada, and the USA, and recently won the international competition to create new bronze doors for the extension to the Prado Museum in Madrid, which opened in 2007. Other major public commissions by the artist can be found in Minneapolis, Antwerp, and Barcelona.

Runa Islam creates film installations that simultaneously employ and deconstruct the languages and techniques of narrative filmmaking. Islam often uses architectural structure to reframe physical and narrative space; the length of a shot corresponds to the depth of a room or the height of a wall or constructed spaces may reflect the psychological spaces between characters. Described as a “reverie” of an abandoned building, the installation Scale (1/16 Inch = 1 foot) features a derelict building as a setting and main protagonist for a subtle, psychological drama. Islam was born in 1970 in Dhaka, Bangladesh and currently lives and works in London. A rising contemporary art star, Islam has been featured in the 2005 Venice Biennale (2005) and the 2003 Istanbul Biennial and recently had a large solo exhibition at the UCLA Hammer Museum.

The Architecture of Desire: Reception & Curator’s Talk

Friday, September 5, 4:30 – 6:00PM

Enjoy light refreshments while you view the exhibition The Architecture of Desire. I.D.E.A. Curator Jessica Hunter Larsen will give an informal gallery talk beginning at 5:15PM.

Performing Identities: Albert Chong, Coco Fusco, and Pushpamala N.

Performing Identities, January 11 to February 16, 2008

Coburn Gallery, Worner Student Center

Featuring photographs and video by artists Pushpamala N., Albert Chong and Coco Fusco, the exhibit challenges historical and contemporary notions of an ethnically-defined self.  Employing strategies of self-portraiture, appropriation and role-playing, the artists relocate cultural stereotypes within a contemporary context to uncover the hidden assumptions and biases embedded within commonly accepted images.

Performing Identities is part of Second Skin, a year-long series of exhibitions and events that explore how identity is reflected, constructed and challenged through the visual and performing arts.

Sponsored by the Robert & Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust.

Laura Ross-Paul: The Allusive Self

Laura Ross-Paul: The Allusive Self

Coburn Gallery, August 25 – October 5, 2007

One of the Northwest’s most celebrated figurative painters, Laura Ross-Paul is known for creating psychologically resonant and strikingly beautiful paintings that set naturalistic figures within dream-like, abstract landscapes. The combination allows Ross-Paul to represent the point at which internal and external forces combine. The Allusive Self presents paintings from Ross-Paul’s recent body of work, simply titled Naked, which was developed in response to the artist’s recent treatment for cancer. While inspired by her experience, the paintings use gestures, facial expressions, and vibrant colors to convey universal feelings of vulnerability and empowerment. The resulting paintings are beautiful, moving, and complex.

Curve, Laura Ross-Paul.

Curve, Laura Ross-Paul

Nicking the Never by Marina Zurkow

"Bash", Still from "Envy"

Nicking the Never

February 20-April 14, 2007
Marina Zurkow is a multidisciplinary artist who works with character, icon, and narrative in several forms: interactive installations, graphic images, animated works, and material objects. In 2004, Zurkow completed a seven channel, multi-linear animated installation, Nicking the Never, which was first presented as a work-in-progress at The Kitchen in New York. Colorado College’s Coburn Gallery will present the latest incarnation of this installation that can only be described as “exploded cinema,” an immersive environment of eye-popping color, offbeat slapstick, and promises of eternity. This project explores adolescence, the relatively uncharted territory of the youthful female imagination and the intricate realms of psycho-sexual fantasy and desire. Nicking the Never is composed of animated allegories about a young girl stuck in a world of emotional pitfalls. This kaleidoscopic trip into the states of selfhood bases its structure in the Tibetan Buddhist Wheel of Existence, whose images luridly and vividly describe the human struggle with need, jealousy, complacence, aggression, desire, and ego.

Artist’s website: www.o-matic.com
Text provided by DiverseWorks, Houston, TX.
"Guzzle"", Still from "Nicking the Never"

Braingirl by Marina Zurkow

Marina Zurkow

January 22 — February 4, 2007

Find out, once and for all, why girls love ponies.

Book as Object: An International Survey of Sculptural Book Art




Book as Object
An International Survey of Sculptural Bookworks


October 31 – December 19, 2006

Artists: Alicia Bailey, Byron T. Clercx, Deborah Horner, Angela Lorenz, Lise Melhorn-Boe, Catherine Nash, Tara O’Brien, Susan Joy Share

Guest Curator’s Statement

Alicia Bailey

When the Colorado College Coburn Gallery Exhibition Committee offered me the opportunity to curate a book arts exhibition, I was given free rein to determine and establish my own format and emphasis. My interest in more sculptural aspects of interactive, three-dimensional objects, or books, has grown over the years, both in the work I create and the pieces I’m most interested in as viewer or participant.

I am delighted that my proposal for an exhibition featuring eight artists who work with the book form as sculptural object has been met with enthusiasm and support. Equally gratifying is the committee’s wish to include my work in the exhibit, and to provide resources for expanded programming to surround and amplify the exhibition.

Contemporary book arts encompass a wide range of approaches, including design binding, calligraphy, limited-edition and fine press, broadsides, artists’ books, altered books, journals and so forth. The genre presented here is part of the sculptural books, or book-as-object category. These pieces challenge the collective definition of ‘book’ while retaining visual, haptic and interactive qualities of ‘book’.

Books meant to be held, read, perused or studied contain themselves in a way that many of this exhibition’s works do not. The pieces in this exhibit are more outward in their focus and, while some certainly are interactive, others emphasize engagement with their own physical space at least as much as engagement with the reader/viewer.

Any book project demands a high level of involvement with its conceptualization, planning, design, and production. When the resultant objects move beyond containment toward interaction with the environment where they are placed, even more participation is required from both artist and viewer.

The artists featured in “Book as Object” utilize a far-flung variety of materials and approach to create a diverse collection of works. Included are one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces that can be performed by artist or viewer, objects that resemble books but aren’t meant to be read, structures housing individual and precious bookworks as part of a larger whole, installations created from altered book pages, and, finally, installations referencing the book form only by use of sequencing, text and image.

Regardless of the end result, all emphasize a relationship between form, content, and the treatment materials receive by the artist’s hands. These works call for space and time and invite a contemplative and playful approach and exploration by the “reader.”

I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Jessica Hunter Larsen, Curator, and Daisy McConnell, Assistant Curator, as well as Exhibition Committee members Jeanne Steiner and Daniel Raffin. I also thank the artists participating in the Book as Object exhibit; it is always a pleasure to work with artists of this caliber. I thank each one for accepting my invitation to participate in this exhibit.

Afterimages by Scott Johnson

 Afterimages: An Installation in Three Parts
Scott Johnson

September 5-October 21, 2006


Artist and new Art Department Sculpture faculty Scott Johnson displays an installation, incorporating digital film projections. Johnson’s work
deals with issues of human perception and space.
Sponsored by the C.C. Art Department and the Stillman Fund for Exhibits



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