• an art installation of news headlines

      A Trump-Era Observation by Rich Silverstein (Photos – Garrett Rowlan, ArtCenter)

      Redact, Rewrite, Reframe, the current exhibition at ArtCenter’s South Campus puts the news on the examination table, or on the wall.

      By Garrett Rowlan

      Rich Silverstein, one of the eight artists included, puts the news on the floor too.

      The presentation is distributed to three separate locations at the ArtCenter’s Raymond Street site. The divided installation in a weird way reinforces one of the exhibit’s subtexts: that media comes to us and at us from all angles. And in reverse we come to it: Marshall McLuhan is quoted in the exhibit’s pamphlet—itself folded like a broadsheet—to the effect that all media is an extension of our nervous system.

      If the medium is the message, that comes with a distortion that is perhaps built-in, endemic. We are always at a distance, removed, as suggested by Samina Yamin’s work where news’ photos are seen through a glass darkly (carved borosilicate glass, actually). In a similar approach, a blurring of photos by Steve Hurd suggests multiple interpretations: botched engagements, evasions, deliberately muted tragedy. Simon Johnston’s blackened, obscured New York Times front page suggests something even darker, to which the title Lachrymae Lachrymarum (The Spirit of Tears) alludes. Paula Scher’s All The News That Fits takes its title literally when headlines and quotes are repeated in a cartoonish-looking, multicolored mash-up.

      Down the hall, in Gloria Kondrup’s Above the Fold, the first 100 days of COVID-19 lockdown are chronicled in repeated, wall-mounted editions of the Financial Times. As one’s eyes wanders   over the separate front pages, an isolation is implied, papers going from doorstep to den to trash (or recycle bins, hopefully) with its subscriber never leaving the house in those months of infectious fears.

      Inasmuch as they dissect the outlets through which our news is filtered, the artists mentioned above concentrate on how the news is redacted, rewritten, and reframed for us. Yet up the street in the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall, Rich Silverstein’s I Read the News Today Oh Boy, takes a more pointed approach, at least in regard to our 45th President. A picture of a Trump addressing a crowd of sycophants (some of whom later testified against him) is juxtaposed with a painting depicting the First Continental Congress. The implication is clear. On the floor other headlines are laid out almost like tiles.

      The Redact, Rewrite, Reframe is a small, startling Odyssey through our current predicament of how we interact with the news we receive. It is on display until October 2, 2022.

      Redact, Rewrite, Reframe
      Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall
      and HMCT South Campus Gallery and Showcases
      Featuring: York Chang, Steve Hurd, Simon Johnston, Gloria Kondrup, Paula Scher, Rich Silverstein, Samira Yamin and Jemima Wyman.

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