Thu October 3, 2013
Artists bring 'My Future Ex' exhibition to unique spaces
A collaboration and celebration of artwork and artists will be sprinkled throughout Buffalo through November. The exhibition "My Future Ex" focuses on temporary relationships between people, materials and places.
The exhibit is presented by UB's Art Galleries. WBFO's Eileen Buckley met with artists,who were preparing for one of exhibits that will be on display this weekend at the Genesee Gateway Building downtown.
"It's a really untraditional exhibition, so it's actually unfolding throughout time rather than an installation in one gallery," said Sandra Firmin, curator of the University at Buffalo's Art Galleries.
"My Future Ex" features a series of pop-up exhibitions. They began last week with a performance on the Buffalo River. The exhibits are a blend of artwork at diverse locations throughout the city.
"But we are also going to have an NFTA tour on October 12 where Sugar City, the much-beloved collective in Buffalo, will be giving a tour of the NFTA with music and poetry readings. Another artist is going to do a puppet theater at the Wash Project, which is a community center, and laundromat on the West Side," said Firmin.
Firmin stood in a room under construction at the Genesee Gateway Building where an art installation was being prepared. For many years, the Gateway has been a work in progress with redevelopment of the historic site.
Doug Swift, who owns the Gateway building, says he was pleased to offer unfinished space for the temporary exhibits to keep with the theme of the event.
"What I'm understanding about the event is they are going into a lot of different and interesting and eccentric spaces around the city and getting the arts out into the community instead of expecting everyone to come to the art," said Swift.
Intrigued by the building are two artists who were busy creating their industrial art installation. Jozef Bajus is a professor at Buffalo State who teaches about fiber.
"We call this 'Interrupted flow',"said Bajus.
Bajus is collaborating with UB''s Center for the Arts. He was building an exhibit with Jeff Higginbotham, a professor of Communicative Disorders and Sciences at UB.
Construction materials and scrapes were piled on the floor.
"Parts of the material which we found in the junkyard," said Bajus.
The materials included a lot of electrical wire.
"Yes, the old wiring you will see. The new wiring will be hidden up on top of the ceiling," said Higginbotham.
The professors said it would taken them about 7 to 10 hours to create their installation.
A nearby staircase also provided inspiration for their abstract artwork and theme. Bajus and Higginbotham describe a ghost of the past.
"Well as Jozef said, we are trying to capture the spirit of this, both in terms of visual aspects and some of the auditory rekindling of what this space might have been or the experiences of people as they are walking up that stair case 100 years ago and the ghosts that are still present," said Higginbotham.
Just a few blocks away from the Genesee Street site at the well know Maureen’s Wholesale Flower Market on Ellicott Street, another art installation will be featured Friday titled the "Hooker Projects."
Tra Bouscaren is a PHD candidate in the Department of Media studies at UB. He said the artwork will blend work of a Philadelphia, PA artists, a Norwegian artist and a New York City-based artist.
"It's about a 4,000 square foot installation installed above Maureen's Flower Shop. She's a saint. She really kind of started this by giving us that space to begin with, to work in for free, for a year, which is amazing. Without that, I don't if this project would have happened at all,"said Bouscaren.
The artwork is made from materials that were tossed into the garbage and salvaged by the artists.
The exhibition will also feature another out of town artist who will take her work to the Wilson Street Urban Farm on Buffalo's East Side: Tamara Suber from Philadelphia.
"I'm making sculptures that tie with the title 'My Future Ex' in the sense of creating a relationship. I wanted to create works that were very site-specific, but also had change and evolve. So I'm working with new materials, such as salt and wood and seeing how they change over time," said Suber.
Suber is also an urban farmer and believes that can be an important part of transforming city neighborhoods.
"I think that farming is something that is intuitive to a way of life," said Suber.
All these artists hope even once their cutting edge installations are removed, they will leave the spaces with a sense of transformation.