View from the Other Side features local artists' responses to the exhibit, Network of Mutuality: 50 Years Post-Birmingham. The artists submitted pieces related to the topic of Civil Rights struggles in our region. Both exhibits are presented as part of the Museum's two-year series, Destination Freedom: Civil Rights Struggles Then and Now. To bring deeper insights into the exhibit, we asked the artists to talk about their work and share what in history inspired them and what they hope guests gain from their art.
Next up: Mikale Kwiatkowski, Local Artist and UNC Charlotte School of Architecture Teaching Fellow
What part of history inspired your artwork?
Feminist theory from the 1970's to the present was the starting point for my research, and queer theory from the early 1990's to the present became an even more influential driver during my actual making process. In addition, artists like Rebecca Horn and Rachael Whiteread continue to be influential.
What do you hope guests experience when viewing your artwork?
Honestly, my greatest hope is that my piece will prompt new thought in viewers -- that people who have never before considered how they publicly perform identities like gender and sexuality might consider culturally constructed scripts that they have adopted as their own. I have no issue with conscious choices people make around these identities but I firmly believe many people unconsciously follow socially prescribed scripts instead of making choices from the stronger vantage point of awareness.
What role does the community play in your art?
Community, well it plays a big role I guess. Cultural ideology is embedded within communities. There is a lot to like about Charlotte, but the conservative nature of the city is its own obstacle for progressive growth. The effort that Levine Museum of the New South makes in bringing awareness to normalizing ideology is striking and extremely valuable in a community like Charlotte's.
What other imagery/ stories do you explore within your work?
For the time being, I am focused on creating experiential assemblages that attempt to disrupt or destabilize processes of normalization that exist in Western culture.
Come view Mikale and others' artwork in the View from the Other Side exhibit at Levine Museum, on display through February 2, 2014.
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