|ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: New exhibit, “Pedestals for...” allows the viewer to become the artwork|
|Written by Lee Strubinger, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 11 April 2012 11:13|
From now through the end of the school year, Takeshi Moro’s “Pedestals for…” will be on display at University Galleries.
At first glance, the pedestals look like white blocks, organized in to a cityscape, until one is allowed to walk on the work of art.
“We made these pedestals for people to use,” Takeshi Moro, featured artist, said. “That’s really what my work is now. Getting the parts together and then letting other people engage with the work in a certain way. And I enjoy that because as creative as I think I am, I am often stunned by some of the really interesting things that people do.”
Originally, pedestals are used to display artwork at an exhibit, but Moro has taken the concept one step further, making people the artwork and allowing them to interact with the piece.
Most art exhibits have a “Do Not Touch” sign, but Moro’s “Pedestals for…” specifically needs the viewer to experience the work of art.
“It is a space where people can sit, maybe they’ll read, maybe they’ll think about something,” Moro said. “The whole notion of pedestals are used for elevating artwork or holding artwork or highlighting artwork. For this, I wanted the people to become part of the exhibit.”
Kelsey Just, senior printmaking major at ISU, and Samantha Moderhock, senior jewelry major at ISU, were found walking and standing on the exhibit on Tuesday during the reception before an award ceremony.
“I compared it to the movie ‘Dead Poet's Society,’ how at the end, all the students stand on their desks to get a new perspective and say ‘Oh captain, my captain,’ as he’s walking out of the classroom because the school fired him,” Just said. “So I just related it to different perspectives, with standing on things to see it in a new light.
“We have been here for five years and we’ve looked at everything in here, but never from five or six feet up in the air.”
Takeshi Moro comes from a number of backgrounds. He was born in Japan, but grew up in the United Kingdom. Takeshi got his B.A. in Visual Arts from Brown University, and he now lives in between Chicago, Ill. and Columbus, Ohio.
“You know, we are always so busy now and the digital age doesn’t help, with Facebook and Twitter and everything, and I just thought it would be nice to have a space where you can reflect, meditate, whatever works for that person, to have some kind of space to do that,” Moro said. “That is what it is for me. I would like to sit down on this thing for 20 minutes and not think about anything. Not check my e-mail. It is what ever the community wants it to be. I don’t mind if a class comes in here and does a lecture here, they can do whatever they want in here.”
Moro had very little to do with the construction of the project. The concept came from him, but University Galleries and ISU students were the workforce behind the project, who put together the actual pedestals. Moro came up with the sizes and where he wanted them to stand.
According to Tony Preston-Schreck, University Galleries curator, “Pedestals for…” is a community-based installation project that involved students from Blue Ridge Community High School, Heartland Community College and Illinois State University.
Pictures hung on the wall of students from these schools who got to use the pedestals, under no instruction by Moro, in the community and do whatever they wanted on them. Different poses in different parts of the community. Video was also taken of the process, which runs on a little TV screen in the exhibit.
After the “Pedestals for…” exhibit is over with, the works of art, pedestals, will go on to have another life, working as pedestals in the gallery and a more traditional art shows.
“Student Annual,” which is a showcase of ISU student work, will run alongside “Pedestals for…” at University Galleries until May 13.