William Vannerson (USA)
installation: ready-made objects
Organized by ACSL
Dеpartment of Fine Arts (Project Space), Armenian Open University, Yerevan
July 2-25, 2013
During a three-month residency at the ‘Art Commune’ International Artist-in-Residence Program (ACSL) William Vannerson constructed a new work that represents his interpretation of cultural and political life of Armenia through the lense of an outsider. The installation is the culmination of a working experience in which the meditative aspect of a studio practice struck a balance with the dizzying alienation of the street. Both revealed themselves as the sites of experimentation and learning.
William Vannerson also presented a public slide talk and provided a narrative of how different bodies of his work emerged over the last few years. He will attempt to describe how idiosyncratic visual cultures and interests become articulated through the ‘language’ of the object. The installation ‘Thank you, but we are not hungry’ is partially his interpretation of the dazzle and menace that seems to be the aesthetic of the power elite in Armenia. He is struck by the remarkably fascist logo of the Republican Party, the monstrous bodyguards, the smirks of the politicians who own the stores and the real estate. And yet, he finds it impossible to talk about his experience in Armenia without mentioning the warmth and generosity of the people he has met, and the progressive discourses they are taking part in. The farcically impoverished feast spread upon the table sympathizes with their perspective in the current socio-political climate. The items offered here are decorative, abstract, quasi-military, rather like the extreme nationalist dialogues that frequently appear in the public space. It is important to question, ‘Who is absent?’–the diners.
‘My friends frequently tell me that times are troubled in Armenia, and there have certainly been disturbing events that have taken place since I arrived, but I find it encouraging that there are those who will not come to the hegemons’ table.’ (W. Vannerson)
William Vannerson is an American sculptor and a recent MFA graduate of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. William’s work exhibits a commitment to the practice of object-making and seeks to produce subversive dichotomies: humor in the iconographic, grotesquery in the mundane, awkwardness in the monumental.
This project is funded by Kansas City Artists Coalition/Linda Lighton Foundation.