American Still and Tom & Betty: Connect the Dots
Causey Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening of their November exhibition, featuring the mixed media and photographic works of artist Michel Demanche. The exhibition will feature the continuations of two projects by Ms. Demanche: American Still and Tom & Betty: Connect the Dots. An opening reception is planned with the artist for November 7, 2013 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. as part of DUMBO 1st. Thursdays. The exhibition will then continue at the gallery's 111 Front St, Brooklyn location through December 31,2013.
Michel believes that how one receives a visual image can filter the person's memory. Increasingly with the use of a vast variety of digital apparatus the decisive moment often is captured but withheld or smashed into a visual stream that steals the ability of a viewer for contemplation. Most visuals are no longer captured to be presented in a private or semi-private setting of the salon, the gallery, family album, or gathering around the now obsolete transparency projector. Instead, small hand held digital delivery devices present not just the cherished icon of a loved one but a constant stream of imagery each held perhaps for 5 seconds, or at most 10 seconds building a narrative between each image.
Americana Still pulls together, through presentation of digital device,the very ideas That michel is proposing as the new visual construct. Through the use of small devices the viewer is lured into a personal space while still occupying the public area in which the device remains fixed. Here the series of images create endless small associations and because of the element of the event presentation, a commitment to engage with the associations on the part of the viewer. This commitment is the new paradigm, the willingness to last through minutes of time waiting for the one image that will pull in that memory or feeling of connection to their past or anticipated future. Each sculpture is the vessel, the system of delivery allows that vessel to be more than mere façade it clashes the façade with the very personal moments with the imagery.
Tom & Betty: Connect the Dots
Two very important events took place in Michel's life in 1978. First the birth of her only son, and second a gift of a children’s reader from the early 1950‘s. Both incidents help build the basis for a developing philosophy toward life, and since her work is a reflection of her life, thus her art. It would take two years for her imagination to ruminate over both her son’s developmental growth and the associated memories from childhood that the book often evoked, The resulting series were based on appropriation of children’s images and suggested symbolism , Tom and Betty Learn to Read. Subsequently the ideas and visual stories have continued to grow.
Michel's newest visit with Tom and Betty is now called Tom and Betty Connect the Dots. Now Tom and Betty must traverse the difficulty of constant visual association through imbedded metadata that can be just one dot that leads to another, to another, to another, all pulling together what appears as random pattern into a constructed understanding of any one image they wish to understand. No longer within our globally connected touch device world, do we have just a simple sentence to understand, and a simple image as an instructive illustration. We the viewer are often only given dots, bits, or perhaps bites. Connection does not necessarily lead to one simple understanding, Tom and Betty can only follow the path and see where it will .........
Native-born Texan Michel Demanche, currently a professor of art at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is known for a multi media manner of art visualization. Often her work is the result of stories that manifest into painting, mixed works on paper, or photography.
For 15 years Michel was interested in the subject of eminent disaster, be it in the form of nightmares, storms, or man made destruction. However, Ms. Demanche’s work from 2001-11 were predominately straight photographic works focusing on what man is doing to his environment. Works from her Memento Mori and Tagged: Triage Mother Nature have appeared in Unseen, at the Arc Gallery of the MOSI Museum in Tampa, Florida, as a billboard in Grand Rapids Michigan during ArtPrize 2010 and in Tagged an exhibition on art and biodiversity at the Ward Museum in Salisbury, Md.
In addition to her photography exhibitions, Ms. Demanche has continued with her multi media works showcasing them most recently in Art Wars at the Salisbury University Art gallery and at the Mosley gallery at U.M.E.S.
Ms. Demanche's art has found its way into many venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Houston Museum of Art, The Levinson Collection of Sheppard Pratt Institute, the Women’s Museum and Franklin Furnace. Additionally, her photography won her the grand prize at the Florence Biennale in 2003 and a first place award in the national Holgapalooza competition.