Published: Jun 30, 2009
LACOSTE, France - SCAD Lacoste, the Savannah College of Art and Design's study-abroad campus, hosts "Life Patterns," a summer series of exhibitions on view July 24-Sept. 7. The "Life Patterns" series commences with a vernissage featuring numerous exhibitions presented in SCAD Lacoste gallery venues July 24, 6-10 p.m. "Angles and Arabesques," a vibrant print show by Beatriz Milhazes; "Women Are Everywhere," ethereal site-specific installations by SCAD foundation studies professor Sam Norgard; "People of Lacoste," intimate portraits of Lacoste villagers by SCAD M.F.A. painting student Michael Porten; and a collaborative film, "Vertical Provence," by professor B.J. Sears and his students. A special one-night screening and European premiere of Doug Aitken's "sleepwalkers" will take place in the courtyard of the Château of the Marquis de Sade at the apex of Lacoste.
On display in Galerie Pfriem, "Angles and Arabesques," showcases highly stylized screenprints by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes that span more than a decade of collaboration with Durham Press. Melissa Messina, senior curator at SCAD, said, "The eccentric vibrancy of Beatriz Milhazes' work lends itself to the celebratory and festive nature of the events held at the Lacoste campus during the summer. 'Angles and Arabesques' is an introduction to the work of this highly-acclaimed contemporary artist whose rich color palette and collaged textures will have broad appeal to students, the general public and visiting art connoisseurs." From Baroque to high Modernism, folk art to Carnaval decoration, geometry to botanicals, works in the show underscore Milhazes' breadth of influence executed with exquisite printmaking technique.
"Life Patterns" also includes a diverse range of exhibitions featuring SCAD talent.
Sam Norgard's continuing series "Women Are Everywhere" involves two site-specific installations that transform local flora, fauna and earthen materials into poetic garment forms. Norgard will collaborate with students to create a series of ephemeral outdoor installations that have a temporary life span as her ground sculptures are left to return to the earth. Norgard will also work with students to construct "Suspended Matters," an indoor three-dimensional stone dress silhouette referencing beauty and patterns occurring in nature.
A unified body of portraits by SCAD M.F.A. painting student Michael Porten features quite literally "The People of Lacoste." Made during the winter 2009 academic quarter, Porten made paintings of as many Lacoste residents as could be completed. Porten's portraits represent his "way of thanking the people for welcoming SCAD, its students, and the arts into their city walls. These paintings belong to the people portrayed in them. It is their choice to decide whether the paintings should stay together in a collection belonging to the city itself, or if they will stay in private homes."
In collaboration with his students, SCAD film and television professor B.J. Sears presents the series "Vertical Provence," experimental rear projections onto the glass doors of an Olivier cave gallery. The rhythmic imagery animates the street as it provides momentary glimpses into life in the region.
The "Life Patterns" vernissage culminates with the European premier and special one-night screening of Doug Aitken's "sleepwalkers," in the courtyard of the Château of the Marquis de Sade. Commencing at 9 p.m., the 12-minute single-channel film will be shown on a continuous loop for 90 minutes. Originally commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and the public art organization Creative Time, "sleepwalkers" was previously projected onto MoMA's exterior facade. "sleepwalkers" entwines poetic nocturnal journeys of five characters portrayed by a range of artists, musicians and filmmakers. Aitken enlisted a diverse cast of actors, including New York City street drummer Ryan Donowho ("Broken Flowers," "Strangers with Candy") as the bike messenger; musician and actor Seu Jorge ("City of God," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" ) as the electrician; Chan Marshall, a singer/songwriter also known as Cat Power ("North Country," "V for Vendetta") as the postal worker; Donald Sutherland ("M*A*S*H," "Ordinary People," "JFK") as the businessman; and Tilda Swinton ("Orlando," "Chronicles of Narnia," "Michael Clayton") as the office worker. "sleepwalkers" was inspired by the densely built environment of midtown Manhattan and portrays the metropolis as a living organism fueled by the desires, energies and ambitions of its inhabitants. Throughout the work, Aitken explores not just the patterns of the constructed landscape, but also the architecture of the video image itself. At key moments, the images break down into abstraction, sometimes into pixels that are the building blocks of most of the moving pictures we encounter today.
The "Life Patterns" series is co-curated by Senior Curator Melissa Messina and Executive Director of Exhibitions Laurie Ann Farrell in honor of SCAD's 30th Anniversary exhibition programming.