DC Arts Center Presents Sparkplug Collective States of Being

By Editorial Team on November 16, 2020
Courtesy of DC Arts Center.
Online Artist Talk: December 10th, Time TBD
On View: November 14th 2020 – January 10th 2021

Featured artists:
Tom Greaves, Sarah J. Hull, Shana Kohnstamm, Alana Reeves, Azedah Sahraeian, Elizabeth Sampson, Alexandra Silverthrorne, Sarah Stefana Smith, Madeline A. Stratton and Steve Wanna

Curated by Fabiola R. Delgado

States of Being curated by Fabiola R. Delgado is the Sparkplug 2019-2020 cohort’s closing exhibition, presenting a body of work that ranges from painting, photography, print and sculpture, to site-specific installation. The works offer metaphorical interpretations of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and the sociological term “Liquid Modernity” coined by Sociologist/Philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, discussing the profound impact of an under-defined and fluid state of life.

To name and classify is to create a structure around us; it’s what gives us a sense of control and power over the things we know, and by assuming that everything falls into a category, we form the belief that randomness doesn’t have a place in our world. But what happens when we encounter things we don’t know? – In this exhibition, we study unpredictability, arguing that randomness isn’t a lack of order, but a natural (though less frequent) frequency, and by denying it in our structures and our language, we suppress our ability to adapt, shutting the creative contingency that makes us ingenious.

Working with Fabiola and the DCAC team during the historic events of 2020, the Sparkplug Collective had the unique opportunity to rethink remoteness and the systemic structures that surround us. This prompted an intimate revelation in the postulates of Bauman, inspiring an exploration of the malleability of our environment and our responses to ambiguity, by comparing the 3 basic time concepts (past, present, future) with the 3 essential states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). The artists question and challenge our relationships to materials, processes, memories, and beliefs, reminding us of our condition of perpetual transition, and how art, like life, is disobedient of the expectations we give it before it even exists.

For more information, visit dcartscenter.org.