ABOUT WEBSITE: The Green Lights is an annual exhibition hosted by the graduating fine art students of Minerva Art Academy. It serves not only as an assessment during which the students aim to get their ‘green light’ to graduate, but as an opportunity to independently create a public exhibition. Faced with the challenge of bringing together 55 unique practices, we’ve based this year’s Green Lights around the Art Spectrum, a compass navigating different positions, approaches and cultures within the fine arts. Where do we stand? What does it stand for? These are the questions we raise rather than answer as we try to materialise the complex and diverse ecosystem of the art culture.
ABOUT THE ART COMPASS: The Art Compass is based on the well know political compass, as it provides four extreme artistic positions as the boarders of the fluid space in between. On the horizontal axis the attitude of the artist toward their practice is defined as between craft and concept. These two well known and often scrutinised labels have in this case a more suggestive nature, indicating whether the concept, idea, message is prioritised over the technique, medium, skill or vice versa. The vertical axis defines the position of the artist towards the art world. From the white cube, gallery culture and the art market making up the inside, to alternative non-art spaces and practices challenging the boarders of art from the outside, the artists occupy positions based on how much they conform to or rebel towards the established art institution.
The interaction of the axis creates four areas - inside concept, outside concept, outside craft and inside craft - each representing an artistic subculture in which specific values, opinions, movements and artworks exist.
Although seemingly opposite, the two directions of each axis are more often than not intertwined, and so the artist might assume different positions along the axis at different times, in relation to different works, or they might assume a wide area of the spectrum within which their practice exists.
ERIKA BUCHANAN SCHEIDER - FROM ANTIFA TO HELL 1: 'JUMP', OR 'GORY, GORY, WHAT A HELL OF A WAY TO DIE'
Once upon a time, there was a song. (Glory, glory, hallelujah)
And then there was a man whose actions changed that song. (Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die)
Years later came the actions of men who changed that song yet again. (Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die)
But little did they know that what they jumped for would lead them to.
For some, there were parachutes.
For others, there were swing-sets and balloons. (He thought about the girl back home, the one he’d left behind)
For a few, there was nothing. And then there wasn’t a song; there was only a photograph to remember. (He had to sit and listen to those awful engines roar,
“You ain’t gonna jump no more!”...)
For what they all had in common was that they came from the sky.
Once upon a time, they all made a choice on one day and they jumped.
So for over a hundred years, each jump started from a few words in a song.
All that remains is a sentence of images to tell a story of joy, fear, life, courage and the fall, as well as the chorus: (Gory, gory what a hell of a way to die...)
*Excerpts in parentheses from ‘John Brown’s Body/Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and ‘Blood on the Risers/Gory, Gory Hallelujah’, an American Paratrooper Song.
We are defined by stories: myths, heroes, lessons and monsters that make up history. Sometimes, that history can be shown with a symbol, sometimes with a photograph, sometimes with a painting, sometimes with a solitary word. But these stories, these myths, which were incredibly vibrant and real that have now faded through time have lost their vibrancy and lessons to shades of faded glory. Occasionally, the lack of lost human form to worn memory is powerful enough to tell a story of humanity. Sometimes, our story telling starts and ends with just one word, with one look, with one reminder of lessons that we need to not forget from those of words of old.
And sometimes seeing an image, a photograph, a painting, and a word for 10 seconds ... that can be enough of a stark reminder that we need not lose the lessons of the past, so that we can continue with the future, lest we see the parallels.
There is a silence in memories that are lost which need to be found – let us speak up for the forgotten.
ERIKA SCHNEIDER BUCHANAN - A STORY OF AN INSTALLATION: FROM ANTIFA TO HELL