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American Mortal and (dis)Pleasure

09/29/17, 1:00 pm - 10/27/17, 4:00 pm

Join us for Final Friday, September 29, 5-8pm for American Mortal and (dis)Pleasure.

American Mortal
The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to present American Mortal, an exhibition featuring the artwork of Becky Alley and Melissa Vandenberg. Both artists create works of commemoration, set within the context of United States politics. With current political rhetoric reaching a fever pitch, and the country growing ever more fractured, Alley and Vandenberg jump into the political fray with sincerity and satire, attempting to untangle themes of nostalgia, gender and the homeland. Through a variety of media—sculpture, installation, and works on paper—the artwork challenges cultural notions of power and patriotism, expanding upon an evolving and elusive understanding of American identity. The initial installment of American Mortal was hosted in 2016 by Transylvania University at Morlan Gallery, Lexington, Kentucky.

In the exhibition catalog essay, Anna Brzyski writes, “Becky Alley and Melissa Vandenberg address our current political landscape shaped by the legacy of the most recent wars by engaging in insightful meditations on the meanings of the flags and the fallen—of collective identity and individual sacrifice. Both artists, in very different ways, work to humanize the abstractions that have informed our politics in order to confront their meanings and broader resonances. Becky Alley’s meditative pieces provide metaphoric embodiments for the abstract numbers associated with recent conflicts: number of soldiers who lost their lives, number of displaced refugees, number of civilians killed. Melissa Vandenberg’s exuberant constructions navigate through humor and absurd juxtapositions, and the tension implicit in patriotic symbolism.”

The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to present (dis)Pleasure, an exhibition of photographs by Kelly Tadge. Tadge’s works make frequent use of cropping to give the viewer glimpses of the artist’s body, often in “awkward” poses and with limited surrounding context. Thus, they provide a contrast to the typical celebration and idealization of bodies one might encounter in mainstream media.

The inclusion of other out-of-context objects, such as dead birds, in these photographs also lends an air of anxiety and otherworldliness, and celebrates the beauty in death and decay, further upending the portrayals of the body we are most likely to encounter in our daily lives. In these ways Tadge’s photographs seek to create a fragmentary, open-ended story that explores ideas of narrative, body image, beauty, and discomfort. In her own words: “This awkwardness works to desexualize the nude figure. I like to think of my photos as the anti- sexy, or the awkward nude. I celebrate my figure, but for its uniqueness…I try to come to terms with the strangeness of my own existence.”

If you go
September 29 – October 27, 2017
Final Friday Reception: September 29, 2017, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Gallery Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm



09/29/17, 1:00 pm
10/27/17, 4:00 pm
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Art Academy of Cincinnati
1212 Jackson St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202 United States
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