"The Conversation," 2017
Video Still (2 Single channel HD videos)
Gift of the Artist, 2017.1
"In this fragmented moment in which we find ourselves, it is important to remember how our experiences and the people with whom we connect, bring perspective to our understanding of the world. If we are open to it, museums can be a neutral haven in which ideas can be discussed, thoughts formulated, history reflected upon, the soul recharged and personal bonds made. As artist Ana Mendieta once explained: “Art is a material part of culture but its greatest value is its spiritual role, and that influences society because it’s the greatest contribution to the intellectual and moral development of humanity that can be made." Compared to a century ago, today’s art museums provide a greater variety of experiences through the medium of art. Visual art, in all its many forms, is now routinely joined by live dance, poetry, performance, video, sound and smell engaging all our senses—activating and enriching us.
Within the walls of the museum, we may be delighted, enraged, overjoyed or even saddened by what we encounter as artists speak to us through their art. Whether an artist is sharing their personal story, recounting a biblical tale as in art of the past, commenting on difficult and troubling subjects or, perhaps, exploring completely abstract ideas, their works can serve as a catalyst for greater understanding. It is fortunate for the Figge that artist Jefferson Pinder agreed to create this inspired performance and documentary installation referencing the particular black experience of the Quad City community. Art made specifically for us, now.
To create this work, Pinder reached out to strangers, networking and researching what he could of the area to discover the overlooked, underappreciated, forgotten and ignored. The types of connections Pinder made are not easy for anyone coming from outside a community. Through months of meetings, negotiations and intimate, highly personal conversations combined with the collaboration of a host of talented artisans, he has created for us a unique opportunity to meet our neighbors and ourselves. By constructing a multidimensional sculptural work that directly references the familiar and hints at those ideas some have chosen to conceal, Pinder allows us to recognize the significance of our interconnected lives and the importance of shared experiences understanding them for all their complexity, history and beauty."
-Andrew Wallace, Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Figge Art Museum
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