Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery: "Planes of Consistency" exhibit

8/26/2009 - By: Skyler Dillon

The University of Nevada, Reno's Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery is kicking off its 2009-2010 season with an unusual exhibit featuring work from three artists: sculptor and University associate professor of art, Tamara Scronce; Reno photographer, Dean Burton; and Seattle video artist, Thom Heileson. The three will be on hand to discuss their show, "Planes of Consistency," with audience members at an opening lecture on Aug. 27 at 5:30 at the Sheppard Gallery. The lecture will be followed by a reception at 6:30.

The exhibit was inspired by the work of 20th century philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. The title refers to a term used in their work, "A Thousand Plateaus," to describe a virtual plane where objects may perform freely, without being slowed down by impediments.

"For me, it's somewhat about how things meld into another continually, at scales we can't even notice, like a trillion Mobius stripes all interconnected," said Marjorie Vecchio, curator of the exhibit.

In their work, Deleuze and Guattari explore human experience as represented by intersecting lines connecting time, history and intellect. The artists' use of cropping, editing and repetition in the exhibit reflects the philosophers' theories.

"For one, the artwork is not specifically narrative even though it includes things we mostly recognize," said Vecchio. "Also, none of it has a clear beginning or end, and that shows how Deleuze and Guattari understand our life force. The work is not about something we can name, but more about inner experiences we find hard to describe."

The show consists of approximately ten pieces and uses video, photography and mixed-media sculpture in a blending of art forms designed to capture the imaginations of the audience.

"It enhances our experience by speaking to our contemporary and future lifestyles of how we view and understand the world," explained Vecchio, who is currently working on two books on art and film as a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbus State University in Georgia. "It is very complex."

"Planes of Consistency" features brand-new work by artists Scronce and Burton, and the exhibit marks the first time Heileson's pieces have been shown in Nevada.

"The artists' works are very different in many ways simply because they are made by different people," said Vecchio. "However, there is also a strong relationship because they are all of the same time period and general part of the country, and of similar age and interest. It's fascinating to witness."

The exhibit runs from Aug. 24-Sept. 25, and is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m as well as Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Vecchio hopes that audiences will take the opportunity to discuss the exhibit with the artists.

"I'd like viewers to suspend the need to declare what the art 'is' or 'about' and instead enjoy what it does and how it makes them feel," she said. "It's much more fun and thoughtful to get wrapped up in someone else's world that they have created than to try and drag theirs into ours."

For more, visit the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery and the art department at the University.

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