Visual Arts Program

Saturday, January 30, 1999 — Saturday, March 27, 1999


Presented at:

Hallwalls Annual Members Show and Artist Residency Exchange: WNY. Opening reception with live music by Chicago's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble featuring Kahil El'Zabar.

"I-con n. 1.a. An image, a representation. b. an enduring symbol 3. The object of great attention and devotion; an idol relic n. 1. Something that has survived the passage of time. 2. Something cherished for its age or historic interest. 3. An object kept for its association with the past; a memento. 4. An object of religious veneration, esp. a piece of the body or a person-al item of a saint. The theme for Hallwalls' 25th annual Members Show is Icons & Relics, suggested by Hallwalls member Larry Plant at Consuming Passions. Icons and relics suggest an elevated status for people and objects, viewer obsession over the subject, and a relationship with the history of art. Religious as well as non-religious artworks are sometimes treated as objects of devotion: Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Monet's Water Lilies, or Walter de Maria's Broken Kilometer. Some artworks become icons, the enduring symbols of a time or a person, such as Warhol's Marilyn, Robert Mapplethorpe's Self Portrait, and Jasper Johns' Ballantine Ale. The extraordinary prices commanded at auctions of the collections of Jack and Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana show how people value and want to possess the things touched by venerated people. Places of art become pilgrimage sites, such as the Uffizi in Florence, Monet's estate Giverney, and the New York bar Max's Kansas City. Pilgrimages of popular culture perhaps draw even larger crowds (Graceland, Las Vegas, Jim Morrison's grave in Paris). People keep mementos of loved ones such as a photograph, lock of hair, or a letter. Icons and relics encompass high and low culture, the religious and the secular, the personal and the public. As always, we encourage artists to make new work for the exhibition using the theme! Reflect on the icons and relics of our times or share your own personal icons and relics, make a new image of an old icon, obsess, invent an icon for the age, bring your relics, create new (or fake) relics, and, ultimately, make works about those things that pos-sess us as artists and as a culture."

Some publications related to this event:
January, 1999 - 1999
February, 1999 - 1999
March, 1999 - 1999