“It’s a made-up word,” says Matt Steinke, laughing at the title of his new installation a verb. “But it’s kind of a…philosophical thread that runs through all the work in this exhibition. But it’s… firstly, looking at the verb as an object, as a thing. Allowing some kind of abstract concepts when you have this ability to stand still and read, or develop theories, write books, paint, put them on paper. That kind of idea of stillness – I feel like that’s a very human-centric ability and the real outside world doesn’t behave like that at all.
by Steinke a verb is one of two exhibitions currently on display at Norther-Southern, along with To draw conclusionsa new collection of portraits by artist and photographer Tyeschea West.
Steinke is a sound artist and sculptor, and his new collection includes several of his robotic sound sculptures, which he describes as “a self-contained acoustic musical instrument.”[s].”
“There’s a kind of curatorial approach that I take to a sound installation, where I think about how all the sounds will play together, or be somehow connected to each other in time or synchronized maybe “, explains Steinke. “Or sometimes I anticipate they’ll be out of sync. And in this case, they’re out of sync. They all work together, so they’re all kind of similar sounds, maybe, in some ways. They share enough similarities to work together. But I think of this exhibit more like the kind of scuba diving or snorkeling experience, where you kind of climb up, zoom in on an object or an aspect of an installation , and then you zoom out and move around in different parts of this. It’s really an experience.
The collection is like a community of creatures that inhabit the same ecosystem, Steinke says; they are different and distinct from each other but peacefully coexist.
In the back gallery of the North-South, you will find a different and distinct exhibition that coexists peacefully with non•verb: Tyeschea West To draw conclusions, a new collection of portraits that combines his talents as a photographer and a painter. “I love portraits and people,” West says. “And I really wanted to do more than just be behind the camera and I really wanted to use my hands in that process. I wanted to do that with the idea of introducing layers and depth to a person, so it was basically my inspiration for this work.
“I feel like people are messy,” West says. “And there are so many layers and so many things going on that inform them and motivate them. It’s just a mix of things, and I just wanted to reflect that in the rooms with the abstract paintings…on the lower level.
West’s work not only captures a subject’s exterior, but also a part of their inner life. “People are very complicated, and there are very subtle things and very obvious things,” she says. “And mixing those things together, blending, but also having different layers to be able to see those things – I just really wanted to try to create that kind of experience with the viewer.”
Some of the portraits are of people in West’s life and some are amalgamations meant to represent the emotions and feelings she wanted to capture. “It was an exercise in trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes,” she says. “You know, the whole idea of empathy, which is a big part of my art and my mission with my art. I feel like I still have some work to do with that, to be more compassionate and understanding, and so being able to try to get into someone else’s mind and what they would like to say and what they would like to express and their perspective on things that I don’t really know… J really wanted to try to explore that.
‘un•verb’ and ‘Drawing Conclusions’ are currently on display at the Northern-Southern Gallery. ‘un•verb’ lasts until June 12 and ‘Drawing Conclusions’ lasts until June 18.