Politics and environment collide in gallery exhibit

Art and politics combined forces in the latest exhibition at SVSU’s Art Gallery.

“Power and Consequences” by artist Erin Hoffman focuses on the juxtaposition of images to discuss political and environmental power.

According to Exhibitions Coordinator, Corey Gilbert, Hoffman’s display is a reflection about politics, environment and the decisions the public makes regarding them.

“She presents these themes next to one another so the viewer can figure out the meaning she is trying to explain,” Gilbert said. “We tend to justify the actions we take about the earth and the politicians we elect. She wants to communicate about the consequences of those decisions.”

These two main types of images, political and environmental, are displayed in several different ways throughout the exhibition.

As Hoffman states in her own artist statement, she combines beloved or iconic political leaders with images of power lines.

Electricity, according to Hoffman, can be associated with modern society.

“Its presence is mostly invisible and…we spend a lot of effort and money to harness, direct and manipulate it, and sometimes we lose control of it with deadly consequences,” Hoffman explained. “All of these aspects can be neatly…tied to political power.”

There is also the environmental aspect to Hoffman’s work which she displays through images of oil rigs, contrasting it with images of animal cruelty.

Her statement explains that this is meant to expose the casual shortsightedness of much of the oil industry.

“There is a contrast to these themes in her work,” Gilbert said. “But everything is also related. The themes all tie together.”

Every exhibition the gallery brings in is meant to educate students about current events or culture, but for this exhibition in particular, Gilbert discussed how it connects to the wider body of SVSU students.

“It’s good for students to be critically thinking about these issues,” he said. “We just finished state elections. This isn’t just about art. It’s political and environmental and that involves everybody.”

In addition to her related themes, Hoffman is also artistically unique.

Gilbert explained that the style she works in is mixed media, a more unusual style where she utilizes a wide variety of mediums from pencil graphite drawings to stamp-like prints all in one piece.

This mixed medium style also adds to the mixed messages of her work and the correlations Hoffman is trying to display.

Hoffman will also be on campus next Thursday, Nov. 20, and will give a short lecture from 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. with a gallery reception to follow at 4:30 p.m. The reception and the lecture are free and open to all students.

Hoffman will discuss the evolution of her work, as well as the historical and political ideas behind her presentation.

Gilbert encourages all students to come out for this event and stressed that this gallery is uniquely educationally focused.

“It’s a cultural resource that students should take advantage while they can,” he said. “We are providing a service to you, whereas most places want to sell a product. Don’t forget we are here.”

This entry was posted on Monday, November 17th, 2014 and is filed under A&E. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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