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O-Town Arts: Creating Absence

Aug 16, 2013 – Nov 23, 2013

Josh Winegar "Untitled" from the "Folds" series, Image courtesy of the artist.

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to present Creating Absence, the first curated show for the Locals Only gallery. The exhibition assembled by the Ogden-based collective O-Town Arts includes works by Bruce Case, Holly Jarvis, Derek Rigby, and Josh Winegar.

By exploring spatial relationships between built and conceived environments, this group show focuses on dualities concerning the familiar and the strange. Winegar’s Folds series takes found photographs that connote nostalgia and then modifies the images, resulting in uncanny feelings of loss and discomfort. These sentiments are echoed in the works created by Jarvis and Rigby, as their abstract forms confuse the distinction between real and imagined spaces. Case’s sculptures are a response to urban landscapes, which the artist delineates through ideas of assemblage and structure.  In each of the works, the artists deliberately withhold critical information in order to allow the audience to fill in the missing pieces.

“Creating Absence is an intriguing investigation into the peculiar nature of everyday practices and rituals that often overshadow our lived experience. This group show reorients basic concepts of presence and absence by creating false spaces that become real only through the viewer’s experience of the exhibition,” says Associate Curator Rebecca Maksym. “The removal of context from the actual work creates a void. Absence no longer signals merely a lack, rather absence becomes another meta-level of space, an emptiness that ironically reveals alternative channels for interpretation and meaning.”