The Halsey Institute commissioned a short film on the work of Butch Anthony on the occasion of his exhibition Inside/Out.
The Halsey Institute is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Butch Anthony of Seale, Alabama. The exhibition will consist of new images, assemblages, and installations created specifically for our galleries. As a multi-faceted self-taught artist, Butch Anthony creates works that investigate and appropriate images from the American vernacular. His practice includes painting X-ray like skeletons on top of antique portraits in elaborate, often gilded frames. An avid collector of unique and bizarre objects, he created the Museum of Wonder, a modern-day cabinet of curiosities filled with art, artifacts, and antiques including the world’s largest gallstone and an actual footprint from Sasquatch. Anthony also hosts the Possum Trot Auction, a weekly junk and art auction (featured on television’s American Pickers) on his 80-acre parcel of land that has been in his family for generations. He has also built The Museum of Wonder Drive-Thru, the first drive-through art and antiques gallery, also on his property. In addition to making and selling art, building unique roadside attractions, and collecting found objects to incorporate into his own artwork, Anthony built his own house and several outbuildings which have been featured in the New York Times.
The Halsey Institute has commissioned a short film on Coulter Fussell and the exhibition The Raw Materials of Escape.
Coulter Fussell’s early-developed artsview perceives craft and other arts as indistinguishable from one another. Painting, sculpture, and textile work are one solitary entity in her mind. From youth, the combination developed into an unintentional mash-up, resulting in quilts and textile works that defy expectations of the medium. Fussell relies on the no-holds-barred nature of contemporary painting rules to free her compositions from the constraints of pattern. In turn, she simultaneously relies on the strict discipline of traditional craftwork to act as a self-editing tool.
Fussell learned to sew by watching her mother, Cathy Fussell, who is herself a renowned quiltmaker. She was determined to be an artist, which—in her young mind—meant that she should be a painter. All through her twenties, Fussell’s focus was painting. However, in a series of firsts, this focus shifted when the birth of her first child prompted her to create her first quilt. Fussell found the issues she had attempted to explore through painting were better addressed with fabric. For Fussell, fabric’s limitations in palette and material offered an infinite amount of freedom in their strictures. Fussell’s work, unlike traditional quilts, does not adhere to a predetermined pattern. Instead, her work retains the wholeness of a quilt while utilizing techniques one would expect to find in painting. For instance, foreground and background are established with the purposeful balance of light and dark materials. In this way, Fussell’s work blurs the lines between art and craft, positing that both practices have an element of functionality and non-functionality.
The Halsey Institute commissioned a short film on Colin Quashie and the exhibition Linked.
Colin Quashie creates images that comment on contemporary racial stereotypes. Combining historical relics and artifacts with icons from past and present popular culture, Quashie sharply critiques the way people of color are portrayed in modern visual culture. Using his signature caustic wit, he blends images to allow viewers to more fully explore how images of African Americans and Black culture are constructed today.
In his latest series, called Linked, Quashie juxtaposes images of well-known Black figures with other representations of artifacts to comment on stereotypes as they exist today. In Gabriel, Quashie tweaks an image of Louie Armstrong, updating his signature trumpet with a set of slave shackles. Similarly, in Rose Colored, he creates an image of Harriet Tubman donning a pair of rose-colored glasses, referencing the abolitionist’s view of slaveholders, for whom she still held a level of empathy. With these works, Quashie teases out underlying stereotypes, exposing them for all to see more plainly.
Colin Quashie: Linked is an official visual arts event of the City of Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival 2019, A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts, September 19-October 6, 2019.
Jennifer Wen Ma: Cry Joy Park—Gardens of Dark and Light is an investigation into the construct of a utopia, inspired by the history of Charleston, South Carolina: a cultural and artistic capital of the American South, and an exemplar of its opulence and beauty. This installation aims to present both an alluring, gorgeous and otherworldly garden, and its darker counterpart. The worlds created by the exhibition are a juxtaposition of utopia and dystopia and are presented via an immersive multisensory experience that utilizes various forms of communication to convey its message.
Representing the largest exhibition of photographs of and about the American South in the twenty-first century, Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South presents multiple ways of visualizing the region. All are necessarily incomplete and imperfect, yet viewing the region through different lenses may bring into focus, however fleetingly, this newest New South. Representations of the world around us in the languages of fine arts and geography, embodied for Southbound in photography and digital mapping, are central to how we see our world.
In late 2015, Italian artist Hitnes embarked on a twenty-city road trip throughout America with the goal of retracing the endeavors of John James Audubon in the 19th century. Audubon’s ambitious goal was to document all of the birds in the country, and these well-known drawings made up his book The Birds in America. Captivated by the enormous scope of Audubon’s goal, Hitnes traveled across the country, aiming to cover in three months what Audubon did in as many decades. Hitnes’s journey on one hand allowed him to explore the state of the birds nearly two centuries after Audubon encountered them. But it also became an all-encompassing performance project in which he gathered materials and made sketches, created public murals, and documented his interactions with a wide range of Americans in video.
Hitnes’s exhibition will document his journey, elaborating on what it is that drives a person to dedicate multiple decades of their life to pursuing an obsession like Audubon did. The exhibition will feature a range of work informed by his own expedition, and he will include other objects and ephemera collected on his trek. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a forthcoming feature-length documentary film on Hitnes’s trip, directed by filmmaker Giacomo Agnetti. Hitnes was an artist-in-residence at the Halsey Institute in the Summer of 2017.
For more info, visit: halsey.cofc.edu/main-exhibitions/the-image-hunter-on-the-trail-of-john-james-audubon/