Story+ Project

Manipulated Materials: Documentary Sculpture

(2020)

The Story+ team for Manipulated Materials will be curating and preparing the fall 2020 exhibition at the Power Plant Gallery which will focus on documentary sculpture. The exhibition artists will be pre-selected, but team members will be interacting with artists, either via in-person studio visit or conference call, researching the themes of the exhibition, as well as creating the in-gallery text, guides and educational materials. We will also begin laying out the exhibit. During the six weeks team members will take an idea and move it closer a concrete reality while considering real-life constraints, such as budget and staffing limitations, and needs such as programming meaningful to both the Duke and greater Durham communities. Students should expect to come away with a good idea of the behind-the-scenes prep work for an exhibition, and begin to consider ways in which art and the gallery interact with and for communities.

Skills undergrad:

Deadline oriented, capable of working independently and reporting back to the team, attention to detail and respect for your team members’ time is a must. Act according to directions or the needs of the team, whether that need is communicated in person or via email. Other skills: familiarity with Adobe suite, such as Photoshop and InDesign. Familiarity with Word and Excel. Research skills that involve using a library as well as online sources. Ability to write succinctly to communicate broad and complex ideas.. An eye for design is a plus, as is familiarity with 3D modelling software such as Sketchup or Maya.

Skills grad:

Same as above, also: ability to stay organized, prioritize needs, and lead a team of several people. Good email etiquette needed. Copyediting skills and any project management experience a plus.

Project Sponsor(s): 

Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Director of Power Plant Gallery

Graduate Mentor(s): 

Caoimhe Harlock, PhD candidate, English

Undergraduates: 

Rezilience Williamson, Mina Jang, Ayesham Khan, Jade Xiong (MFA candidate, Experimental and Documentary Arts)

Outcome: 

The work on the first volume of the zine, Shape of Content,  began with a series of questions: What is documentary sculpture? What are its attributes? How is it different than documentary film or photography? Writ large the questions were less about documentary sculpture as a discipline and more about the particularities of object-based storytelling – whether that might be a statue in a central square, or an installation in a gallery. This thought project led, as many do, to a forthcoming exhibition at the Power Plant Gallery with North Carolina native Stephanie J. Woods. I, along with the Story+ team of Caoimhe Harlock, Mina Jang, Ayesham Khan, Rezilience Williamson and Jade Xiong were able to use this exhibit as a point of departure and explore ideas around the body, senses, materials, and how knowledge is created through object-based art. We chased these threads, following side roads and instincts, letting one piece of information lead us to the next - less concerned about reaching a final destination, than navigating the journey. The research outcomes presented here - as with the work of any artist - are mediated through both physical and mental states, taking on the shape they were intended to be. -- Caitlin Margaret Kelly

 

Topic(s)

  • Art
  • Visual Media
  • Documentary