We spend time by ourselves; we spend time with others. We are aware that these two circumstances differ greatly.
Time alone can be a period of comfort and reflection -- or of nervousness and despair. It can be a time of rejuvenating our bodies, peaceful silences, an opportunity to become one with ourselves or perhaps engage in an act of individual creativity. But alone time can also be filled with boredom, fidgetiness and a restless mind that wanders in uncomfortable directions.
On the other hand, when we are with others, we can be influenced by peers to participate in activities we would never consider as individuals. Ordinary people can gain empowerment by acting collectively, with both positive and negative results. Looking no further than recent headlines, we can see examples of different kinds of group behavior - from post-sports-championship rioting to the anti-government protests occurring throughout the Middle East and Europe.
In By myself and with my friends . . . six artists explore the complexities of human nature by looking at some of the things we have in common with other living creatures, from our herd mentality to our moments of solace. The exhibition provides an opportunity for reflection, a time to examine and reconsider our own behaviors, to slow down and breathe. It is a chance to realize that even when we are alone, we are all in this together.
Curated by John D. Spiak, ASU Art Museum, this project is generously made possible by the Everlyn Smith Family Exhibition Fund and Friends of the Arizona State University Art Museum.