Apr 27 – May 10
Scott Reagan’s Voices of Niagara
“The Future is The Past” (Brick Gallery)
“The Future is The Past,” an interdisciplinary art exhibition that joins poetry with kinetic sculpture.
The exhibition, initiated by local poet and artist M. Scott Reagan, is the result of an experiment in community authorship that asked residents across the Niagara region to write something poetic about where they live.
The project, called Voices of Niagara, drew inspiration from the French Surrealist’s experiments with collective authorship.
Over the course of a year, whole poems and poetic fragments were submitted by residents and displayed on the project website. These submissions were then stitched together to create four distinct “community authored” poems. The resulting poems reflect a tension between the individual voice (expressed in the first person) and the community voice (expressed in the second). They are expressions of a community exploring its identity, reflecting on its past, and projecting itself into the future.
The four poems are embodied in a kinetic sculpture which liberates them from the static confines of the page. The poetic lines are transcribed onto color-coded faces of rectangular blocks which rotate on a series of horizontal axes. This allows four poems to exist within a single plane, but requires an active effort from the viewer to read them. In the process of rotating the lines of poetry to access the whole text, the viewer is also freed up to become an author of sorts, remixing the lines to create new works.
The materials and techniques used to construct the featured sculpture were informed by both the subject matter of the submissions and the natural materials available to the region. Special attention was paid to sustainable practice.
Opening Reception was Sunday, April 27.
“The Future is the Past” was funded in part by a New York State Council on the Arts DEC Grant. For more information contact M. Scott Reagan at firstname.lastname@example.org call (724) 968-6591. You can also visit www.voicesofniagara.com.