| 03.10.2017 - 04.07.2017 |
Artists: Justin Colt Beckman and Gail Tremblay
Visions West Contemporary is excited to present Justin Colt Beckman and Gail Tremblay in Freeze Frame, a concurrent exhibition to celebrate the 2017 Month of Photography Denver. The exhibition will feature two Washington State artists featuring Beckman’s photo based prints and Tremblay’s traditional baskets woven from film. Based around an investigation of the unique characteristics of small-town life and the rural landscape, Justin Colt Beckman's work explores the dichotomy of urban and rural cultures, their associated stereotypes, and the effects each has on the other. Essentially a city boy with country boy tendencies, he uses photo-based works, film/video, sculpture, installation, and new-media to engage with and better understand his rural surroundings. Most recently, his work has focused on the historic nature of the urban/rural dichotomy and the relationships between the industrialized and technologically advanced parts of the American Union and rural cultures existing in the farmlands and frontier territories. "How the West Was Won," for example, is a series of digital collages that juxtaposes contrasting subjects, such as atomic clouds and Native Americans, or cowboys and B-52 Bombers, as a way to reinterpret the story of the American Union's expansion into the Western Territories. Utilizing recycled film from broken down 35mm trailers, old 16mm films being thrown out by libraries as well as old student films, Gail Tremblay uses traditional weaving methods to create film baskets instead of the traditional material of ash splint and sweet grass. Tremblay is of Iroquois and Micmac descent and learned the traditional weaving methods as a young girl. As a professor at Evergreen State College she began using out-takes from student films to create the baskets. Tremblay found using the recycled film allowed her to manipulate a medium that has historically been used by filmmakers to create and further stereotypes of American Indians. She has added to this irony by choosing footage from titles that suit the artists themes as well as stitches that support subject of the piece. For example, in “Somethings Are More Serious Than Play” the artist uses pieces from a documentary film about Montana Indian Children as well as a Porcupine stitch to underscore the prickly nature of Indian—white relations.