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Liz Collins
Energy Field

Designed for congregation, conversation, and study, Liz Collins — Energy Field is the first in a new Tang series that asks artists to imagine what a museum community space can be. Located on the Tang’s mezzanine, Energy Field is a long-running installation created as a lounge and social space for visitors and students. During the 2015-16 academic year, Energy Field has been the site of meetings, public dialogues, improvisational dance performances, sonic meditation, and more.

Energy Field is designed to revitalize the lounger/visitor through color, shape, and texture. It is a new age crystal cave viewed through a pop post-modern lens. With exploding supernovas on the ceiling, chevrons on the wall, and stripes on the floor, the brash sharpness is offset by plush carpeting, raining yarn, and upholstered furniture. Energy Field is a liminal space intended to invite both prolonged exploration and rest. A mirrored wall extends the room into the next dimension while at the same time functioning as a grounding device, i.e., "I am here now. Here I am."

Liz Collins is an artist and designer. She presented her performance piece, Knitting Nation, at the Tang as part of the exhibition Dance/Draw (2012), which she has also shown at eleven other locations, including the Rhode Island School of Design, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Museum of Modern Art: Studio. Her recent work explores the boundaries between painting, fiber arts, and installations, creating spaces that envelop the viewer in vibrating color fields.

Highlighting the nature of Energy Field as a space for interconnections to flourish, Collins invited artist friends to become Guest Artists within the installation; she asked them to explore and be in dialogue with her installation via their own artistic practice. Setting the stage for this series of dialogues with the space, Collins presents her personal community of artists and friends through a selection of books, magazines, ‘zines, and comics they created and provided.

Guest Artist Project

Nayland Blake (February – June 2016) carried forward the idea of celebrating existing relationships and creating new ones within the space, in his installation. Sock monkeys, photography, and video formed a narrative of loss and healing, filtered through humor, memory, and collaborative connections. The video, which documents Collins mending one of Blake’s prized sock monkeys, evokes to the process of physical and psychological healing through artistic friendship.

The current Guest Artist is E.V. Day, whose work probes ideas about sexuality, feminism, and humor. Day’s installation, Perpetual Motion Perpetual Motion, is a site-specific work composed of seven fishnet body suits stretched across the mezzanine window, and is a response to the June 12 tragedy in Orlando, Florida.

Day uses elastic cords trussed to an industrial frame that pull the fishnet fabric at precise points, articulating seven dancing figures. Among Day’s references in this commentary on issues of visibility and the gender spectrum are Ernie Barnes’ 1976 painting Sugar Shack (and its themes of exclusion), the wire-frame modeling that articulates three-dimensional forms in two dimensions, and the defiance of bodies in motion.

Exhibition Name
Liz Collins
Energy Field
Exhibition Type
Solo Exhibitions
Place
State Farm Mezzanine Gallery
Dates
Oct 17, 2015 - Aug 31, 2017
Curators
Liz Collins — Energy Field is organized by the Tang Museum in collaboration with the artist.
Artists
Nayland Blake, Liz Collins, E.V. Day
Student Staff
Lenore Wilkinson
Collections Assistant
Jonah Jablons
Exhibition Intern, Collections Assistant
Past related events
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