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Theaters of Fiction on View at the Wellin Museum of Art

Theaters of Fiction features work by seven contemporary artists that use the physical space of the theater to explore ideas of illusion and escapism.

 

Candida Höfer. Teatro Comunale di Bologna I, (2006). Chromogenic print, 70 ⅞ x 85 in. Collection of the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Purchase, William G. Roehrick ’34 Art Acquisition and Preservation Fund. © Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Image courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

Theaters of Fiction presents work created over the last two decades by seven international artists who look to the physical space of the theater to explore themes of illusion, escapism, and artificiality. Exhibiting artists include Rhona Bitner, Ceal Floyer, Candida Höfer, Lisa Kereszi, Guillermo Kuitca, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Rather than referencing, recreating, or replicating theatrical or operatic performance in a literal manner, the artworks included turn our gaze to the architectural space and its physical trappings. Foregrounding the absences present in spaces where fictions are staged, these artists reveal the constructs and hierarchies of culture and the context in which fiction is created and consumed. Some of the artists selected as their subjects aristocratic opera houses and theaters, while others look to more democratic spaces of popular entertainment, like cinemas. Above all, however, the artists included in Theaters of Fiction use the theater as a metaphor: both for the process of image making itself, but also for the cultural, social, and political constructs that define entertainment and the context in which fiction is created and consumed.

This show is curated by Katherine D. Alcauskas, Collections Curator and Exhibitions Manager, Wellin Museum of Art.

Theaters of Fiction will be on view at the Wellin Museum of Art (198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY) through June 9, 2019.