Sunday, March 26, 2023

New Umoca Exhibitions To Feature Traveling Art Installation Kids’ Pop Culture Variety Show, Multidimensional Exhibition On Competitive Weightlifting, Artistic Reflection On The Bureaucracy Of Immigration

Unique variety propels three new exhibitions that will open later this month at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA). One focuses on the Utah edition of a nationally known traveling multidisciplinary art and performance installation project, as inspired by pop culture icons and the frequently weird nature of children’s programming conceived as a televised variety show. Another features multidisciplinary art reflecting on the intricate and extensive volume of data, performance metrics and analysis that mark the sport of competitive weightlifting. The third show is an artistic statement on the overwhelming volume of forms and documents immigrants are required to complete to gain legal residence in the U.S.

The opening reception for the exhibitions will take place Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.

ED. SPACE: OCT 26, 2018–MARCH 3, 2019

Created in 2006 by Matt Roche and Jaimie Warren, Whoop Dee Doo began in Kansas City as a kids’ variety show that was inspired by the zeitgeist of children’s programming. It became a traveling exhibition of pop culture that would incorporate local artists and young people to create a new live performance and installation in each location.

Roche and Warren recruit individuals in each city to research, develop and stage theatrical experiences set as a television variety show. The participants are encouraged to transform ordinary spaces into as surreal and memorable environments as possible. The multidisciplinary approach emphasizes a holistic, diverse experience in creating art that capitalizes on each community’s distinctive skills, experiences and cultural customs.

In Utah, Jethro Gillespie and James Rees, art educators at Maple Mountain High School and Provo High School, respectively, collaborated with Whoop Dee Doo to stage a series of original performances at the ARTcetera gallery on May 12, 2018. Eight students chosen from four high schools composed the cast and crew and the Maple Mountain Ellevés drill team, directed by Molly Brenchley, collaborated as performers. The high school crew made costumes, set elements and props to fit the group’s Mountain Magic theme. The production process took just one week.

The 15-minute show was presented live to the public six times. Each show comprised quick skits, a crowd-participation contest, two performances from the Ellevés, and a concluding group dance inviting the cast, crew and audience to join.

PROJECTS GALLERY: OCT. 26, 2018–JAN. 12, 2019

Molly Morin, a Weber State University assistant professor of art who weaves in digital and analog practices into her work, has created Information Density, an exhibition which builds on her experience as a competitive weightlifter and coach. Various media including felt sculpture, data visualization, performative drawing and digital fabrication portray weightlifting movements, equipment, and competition results. Morin draws upon the intrinsic empirical value of data sets and analysis in the sport of weightlifting but she also broadens the perspective in the exhibition by incorporating the less-defined borders of information, mark-marking, visualization and metaphor. As Morin explains in her artistic statement, Information Density celebrates the powerful bodies of competitive weightlifting as a reflection on the ways in which we collect and represent the rapidly increasing volume of personal information that technology enables.

Morin’s show also coincides with the U.S. Masters American Open Championships, which will be held in Salt Lake City Nov. 1-4 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The competition brings the best Olympic style weightlifters, 35 and older, from across the country to compete in various age and weight categories.

AIR Space: OCT 12, 2018–NOV 17, 2018

In a compelling representation of the bureaucratic behemoth that bedevils the immigration system, J. P. Orquiz, one of UMOCA’s artists-in-residence, explores the anxieties and frustrations of an intimidating process that affects profoundly the lives of applicants and their families. The exhibition focuses on the numerous forms and documentation required for an immigrant to gain legal residence in the U.S. and the opportunity to build a sustainable economic livelihood. Orquiz’s experiences with the process inform the exhibition’s interpretation.

About Molly Morin

Prior to joining the faculty at Weber State University, Molly Morin taught as adjunct faculty at Clemson University and Tri-county Technical College, as a Visiting Assistant professor at The University of Notre Dame, and as an assistant professor at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She makes material representations of information through generative drawing, soft sculpture, and digital fabrication. Through her creative practice, she develops critical and poetic approaches to making art with digital tools. Her projects set out to challenge assumed hierarchies, question our faith in data, and discover new means of making across traditional technical and disciplinary boundaries.

About J. P. Orquiz

As a student in Weber State University’s bachelor of fine arts program at Weber State University, J. P. Orquiz helped found the Ogden Museum of Contemporary Art (OMOCA) as an entity to host collaborative pop-up exhibitions.

About Matt Roche and Jaimie Warren

An installation and performance artist, Matt Roche is the co-founder and co-director of Whoop Dee Doo. Roche oversees the design and creation of Whoop Dee Doo’s colorful and energetic DIY aesthetic, from sets to props to costumes, and he performs in their live shows. Roche also directs Whoop Dee Doo performances and guides the group’s extensive collaborations with local artists and children, creating a chaotic and fun mix of arts, entertainment, and education.

Jaimie Warren is a multidisciplinary artist and co-director/creator of Whoop Dee Doo. Warren, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in interdisciplinary arts, has received numerous artistic residencies in New York City along with the Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer. A 2013 recipient of a U.S. Presidential Teaching Award, she has taught extensive workshop series with youth, adults and seniors, including the New York City public schools, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art21 Education Department, The Museum of Art & Design, The Brooklyn Arts Council, NurtureArt and The Dia: Beacon and Abrons Arts Center.

About the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

Since 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) has advanced and elevated the community of contemporary arts and culture. Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, UMOCA is a fearless voice for innovation, experimentation and dialogue surrounding the issues of our time. The Museum invites curiosity and strives to be a place where all points of view, backgrounds, experience, and ages feel welcome. UMOCA is a force for social transformation and supports an array of contemporary voices within our community.

UMOCA is located at 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101. The Museum is a 501c3 institution that is supported by public, foundation, and corporate donations. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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