Ann Arbor gallery show features Toledo-area artistsWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With televangelists around every corner predicting the end of days, the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor is exploring what the aftermath would look like with the exhibit, “Post Apocalypse” as part of its “Food for Thought” series.
“None of these prophecies ever come true,” co-director Rocco DePietro said. “The true believers, somehow it reinforces their faith. Somehow they intervened so the end of the world didn’t occur. We all know the apocalypse is never going to happen. What would happen the day after? It gets the artists thinking about life and alternative futures.”
DePietro organized the exhibit along with co-director Gloria Pritschet and curator Brian Spolans. Many pieces in the exhibit depict a hopeful vision of life after the apocalypse.
“They seem to be showing some evidence of destruction, but then they show what comes out of the ashes, almost like the phoenix rising,” DePietro said. “It’s kind of like how forest fires bring up seeds that have been dormant for 20 years. There’s a hopeful element to it. The show isn’t going to be full of gas masks. It’s not about the apocalypse. It’s about what would happen after the apocalypse.”
The show includes images such as a flooded parking lot, terrorists taking over a suburban neighborhood and the robot Johnny 5 from the 1986 movie “Short Circuit,” looking at its reflection in a bathroom mirror.
“It will be fairly dramatic in terms of some of the imagery people are generating,” DePietro said. “Some of them are buildings flying apart, yet they’re going to be reconstructed. There are some utopian-type views of life that go beyond what we’re accustomed to seeing.”
The work of Toledoan Dan Hernandez will be on display with “Colecotari Chapel 4” depicting Jesus fighting in a war against zombies.
“I thought that was just a riot,” DePietro said. “Some of this could potentially be offensive to some people, but I think it’s OK. We don’t like everything that we show. If it’s not our aesthetic or are beliefs, that’s OK. We had a show called ‘The God Show’ and we had a Mormon bishop in the show along with extreme secularists. It seemed like the right thing to do. We highly value diversity and individuality in art.”
Bowling Green’s Matthew Kruger is featured with his Photoshop piece “Beholden Are We All the Squalor to the Splendor.”
“It looks like a bunch of buildings surrounded by tinker toys,” DePietro said. “You don’t know where this place was or what happened to it. It’s getting reconstructed out of the mess. It’s pretty architectural. It’s such an interesting image.”
The exhibit features 32 artists from across the country, including three each from Toledo and Bowling Green.
“Bowling Green is a very strong arts school, and Toledo has a bunch of really good artists,” DePietro said. “We follow what’s going on down there very closely.”
“Post Apocalypse” runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 22 with an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 16. The Gallery Project is located at 215 S. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. The gallery is open noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday and is closed on Mondays.
“It will be fun and entertaining,” DePietro said. “Maybe people will be moved to think about something they hadn’t thought about before and see something in a different light. It could be illuminating. We don’t have high expectations about what people will experience. We want people to experience it with their own sense and aesthetic and see what happens.”