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Now You See It, Now You Don’t

During Art Basel, the Dorsch Gallery was awash in kudos for its bugged-out group-show-undermining perception. “Shapeshifter” boasted nearly a dozen artists whose creative sleight of hand toyed with the senses and bitch-slapped viewers into recognizing that art can be chameleonlike and paradoxical in its nature. The exhibit featured paintings, videos, sculptures, and mixed-media works that often left spectators literally scratching their noggins in disbelief. Participant artists included Jenny Brillhart, Elisabeth Condon, Robin Griffiths, Richard Haden, Michelle Hailey, m lafille, Martin Murphy, Ralph Provisero, John Sanchez, and Kyle Trowbridge. Haden’s hyperrealist sculptures of detritus in painted wood captured many visitors’ imaginations; his weather-beaten cardboard box — which seemed plucked from a dumpsite but was actually intricately sculpted from wood — left a staggering impact.

This Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m., the Dorsch will ratchet up its skull-humping bravado with “Shapeshiftd,” a project in which the Aesthetics and Values class from the Honors College at Florida International University will respond to and subvert the “Shapeshifter” exhibit. The FIU class, which includes nearly 30 students, plans to transform the nature of the previous month’s show to underscore how the curatorial process affects the way viewers experience or think about an artwork and how change comes in many guises.
Sat., Jan. 17, 2009


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