Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Margaret Realica - Elements

Sculptor Margaret Realica, known for her fusion of the mechanical and the nostalgic, had a showing at the Frame of her most recent work from the 2nd-29th of October. The eight most recent pieces contained elements of transparent photographs, metallic components,gears and electrical wires. Her use of warm nostalgic imagery juxtaposed, with the hard mechanics lets each piece stand on its own. They have a bold presence and a certain level of sophistication within each piece.

Realica's process entails the reconstruction of objects as a method of deconstructing concepts. “To see the interaction between the two,” Realica explains, “the affect of one upon the other [is to see] the images of one transforming within the other.” The transformation is evident and enticing to the eye. The colors are rich and soothing with subtle textual elements existing within the photographs. The mechanical components are non functional but still important to the body of the art work. Without those elements her work would be feel complete.

Noise Can Be Hostile: Seven, Eight, Seven, Five (REVISITED)

In July and August of 2009, Montserrat College of Art graduate (2009) Anthony Montuori created an evocative, minimal visual landscape with 27 used speakers pressed upon the glass, inspired by the ambiguous, yet often dueling definitions of public and private spaces by calling our attention to the glass that separates the street from the gallery. The audible mash-up included bits of classical music, stand-up comedy, readings of theory, sounds of people coughing and clearing their throats, and tracks from post-mod DJ Girl Talk. Visitors were able to hear a murmer of the audio through the glass, but had crystal clear reception when picking up the telephone that had been installed outside the gallery.

For Noise Can Be Hostile: Seven, Eight, Seven, Five (Revisted), Montuori collaborated with artist Daniel Phillips to remix the space once again. Montuori and Phillips documented themselves with still photographs adding debris from Philliips' current installation Tear Down These Walls (on view in the 301 Gallery) and rewiring the audio element of the original Frame 301 piece. In their final rendition, the phone installed outside exists as the only way to receive the sounds from inside the Frame and and stop-motion video of the work the artists did was also installed within the storefront space. The messages of both artists were strengthened by their collaboration, which highlighted their mutual concern for issues of conceptual and spatial appropriation and use.

"Working with Daniel and Anthony was a rewarding experience" said Amber Hakim, a work study for the 301 Gallery. "Helping create this whole new environment changes your understanding of space, while it may have looked off putting at first glance you start to notice all the little quirks and different elements that were amongst the debris. The sound aspects of the installation were a total spin on what we normally would hear through a telephone."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Noise Can be Hostile: 7,8,7,5

Noise Can Be Hostile: Seven, Eight, Seven, Five

Anthony Montuori, in Collaboration with Ethan Berry and Maggie Cavallo

The experience of passing by the Frame 301 exhibition window at Montserrat College of Art has been altered by a new site-specific installation. Montserrat College of Art graduate (2009) Anthony Montuori created a n evocative, minimal visual landscape with 27 used speakers pressed upon the glass. A colorful vortex of wiring connects the speakers through a small hole in the wall. A murmur of sound is audible from the sidewalk, emphasized by pressing one's ear to the pane of glass that separates the viewer from the speaker.

In planning the installation, Montuori and his collaborators, Montserrat Faculty Ethan Berry and Frame 301 Curator Maggie Cavallo, considered the ease with which the public participates with Frame 301 in comparison to the number of people who willingly enter the 301 Cabot Street building to view the gallery within. Montuori pursued the ambiguous, yet often dueling definitions of public and private spaces by calling our attention to the glass that separates the street from the gallery. "The sidewalk is public property that is still owned or controlled;" the artist explains, "window displays are also used to sell products, and in times of unrest the first to be smashed and looted for their contents." While the gallery spaces at 301 Cabot Street and the sidewalk that flanks it are both considered public, a visitor's past experiences with these areas are varied and affect how the spaces have been categorized and experienced. Beginning with a consideration of Frame 301 as a symbolic space between academic private property and the public area of the street and sidewalk, Montuori demonstrates how multifaceted these demarcations can be.

In titling his work, Montuori found influence in the conceptual art and Truisms (seemingly self-evident statements) of spring 2009 Montserrat College of Art exhibitor and honorary doctorate recipient Jenny Holzer. "In my window display, the first Truism, ‘Noise Can be Hostile,’ is present due largely to the nature of the piece as kind of a wall of sound and as an image of abundance; where too much is in favor here; too many speakers and an iconography of decadence," Montouri explains. He appropriated the phrase from the vinyl lettering of the past Frame 301 installation by Miles Conrad. The artist goes on to explain, "the numbers in the title refer to the truism: Private Property Created Crime. This is also in relation to the organization of the speakers in the windows. Four separate panes, four words. 7,8,7,5 respectively." Yet we also see reference to the window as a site, the window as a symbolic display of private property.

Montouri pulls from the ideas of Holzer to use in other works. His interest lies in sampling from other artists but abstracting what he takes. "I see this as a kind of sampling that one might find a DJ or postmodern musician engaging in." While passing by, viewers (or listeners) will hear the sounds of classical music, a contemporary DJ (emphasizing Montuori's idea of sampling), stand-up comedy, the sound of people clearing their throat and theoretical readings. The choices for the audio components emphasize the jagged, imaginary edges that separate private and public, and high or low culture.

Near the door of 301 Cabot Street, a phone awaits viewers’ curiosity. By making the conscious decision to pick up the phone and place it to their ear, viewers will hear a clear reception to the sounds going on inside. Montuori's piece encourages us to think critically about the spaces we deem as public and private, and to have the courage to participate in both.


Influence of Jenny H's Truisms?

I have been pulling from this list for a while now and using it in other works. I am interested in sampling from other artist but abstracting what i take. I see this as a kind of sampling that one might find a DJ or postmodern musician engaging in.

Who were the situationists? What do they have to do with your piece?

I small group who wrote much on capitalist society and who could be considered a continuation of marxist theory. Their writings focused on urbanology, the spectacle and various methods for reclaiming the landscape or shifting existing media to subvert them. This piece sees itself situated in a display window which puts it in the position of spectacle. It is viewed by individuals traveling in cars, a commodity often used, by the situationists, to describe the eptiome of the spectacle. Also their urban studies, which favored unteathered exploration of urban landscapes relates perhaps to the people who might walk by. Perhaps they may pay more attention to their surroundings as they continue their journey.

What audio is playing? Any direct quotes?

Classical music, stand up comedy, readings of theory, contemporary music (girl talk, which is all about appropration and juxtopisition), people coughing or clearing their throat. etc. The phone will be a source as well, so that talking into it will produce sounds through some of the speakers.

Anthony - btw, in all your situationist reading did you ever get into daniel buren? He's my fav.

not in the situationist reading but I am familiar with buren and enjoy the idea that work can be critical of where it is placed or the institution that exhibits it...

Idea of the experience of someone walking by?

that they might place their ear to window, feel the glass vibrate... get a sense of the various sound sources. With the phone, hopefully a level of contribution is conveyed and afforded the active viewer.

How does this piece relate to other works you've done? How has your work developed?

It certainly relates in my use of stand-ins for words. I have an interest in language and its inadequacy to convey information. Ive layered various sound sources together in the past but never in this way and certainly not as an installation. This piece is really very much a combination of a lot of the things that have interested me in other media: Combining desparate imagery in either collage paint or video; dealing with language; sampling from other artists to recontextualize their works.

How does the piece work, technically, what is involved?

It is basically a lot of speakers all wired to seperate sound sources that will be playing on endless loop. The speakers are either adhered with hot glue directly to the glass or strung up on a horizontally taught metal cable. The telephone will be monitoring the sound in the window by having the speaker in the headset connected to a microphone placed in the window and the mouth piece in the phone will be connected to several speakers so as to be another sound source.

Noise can be hostile?

Certainly. I’m sure the people in 301 will feel that way by the end of the month. It can be intrusive... even classical music in this case will start to lose its beauty. Of course it also refers to the sound sources and the nature of capitalist modes of advertising(window display)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miles Conrad - "Wax & Wane" - Encaustic in the Summer

Bound, wrapped and dipped in wax, the perception of the objects in Conrad’s installation fluctuate between their organic and synthetic sources. Inspired by Conrad’s workshop at the 2008 Montserrat College of Art Encaustic Conference, "Off the Wall: Encaustic in 3D," this piece involves coating found objects such as cactus thorns, twigs, cardboard and rubber globes in wax and forming them into orbs, where they serve as abstract representations of natural forms.

In this version of the concept, Conrad and Conference Director Joanne Mattera were inspired to incorporate the effects of the sun and heat on these wax-covered objects. Exposed to direct sunlight and the high temperatures of the storefront window, the forms will collapse and transform. “With so much focus by the contemporary encaustic community on the preservation and the archival quality of the material,” Conrad explains, “the concept was to offer an exhibit that celebrates the medium’s fragility and temporarily”.

Conrad describes his studio practice as combining encaustic, found objects and mundane materials to create biomorphic abstractions; encouraged by studying source images from the fields of biology, immunology and pathology. Through his interest in the biological and the natural world, Conrad discovered another layer of meaning to the installation in its reference to the effect of global warming and a changing planet.

Much of encaustic’s most exciting origins were based in artists relinquishing control to the wax itself, a material that would dry and take shape before one could recreate it. Conrad has offered this authority not only to the material, but to the affects of the natural world; allowing his piece to be created and recreated by it’s surroundings.


“These three-dimensiona
l, constructed black and white photographs inside white optical viewing sculptures reflect a critical, humorous and questioning view of the world, seen through the lens of a future memory of a fictional place…” Rebecca Hackemann, 2009

Hackemann’s PEEK series shines a light on the act of seeing – the process of vision and the construction of meaning. Approaching Frame 301 visitors will notice the large storefront windows have been covered with white paper dotted with peepholes, enticing them to “peek”, “look” and “see”. Inside, Hackemann has attached mobile stereoscopes, at once taking viewers from Cabot Street to another landscape. Often criticizing an Orwellian visual culture, some images prompt viewers to reconsider the making of meaning based on the visual reception of image/text combinations. In other photographs, viewers may feel detached from a recognizable image as they attempt to grasp exactly what they see. The participatory requirement of the PEEK series is a subtle reminder that we are constantly receiving and conveying meanings. Hackemann has challenged the common definitions of the viewer/object relationship and the language of photography and sculpture by transforming the aesthetic experience. As we are active participants within this piece, we are reminded of our role and responsibility to create, exchange and disseminate our own definitions.

Hackemann is a British conceptual artist whose studio was recently relocated from New York, NY to a barn and farm that she shares with her family in Waverly, Iowa. Born, raised and educated in West Germany, England and America, Hackemann has developed as a person and as an artist alongside a variety of visual cultures. She continues to travel extensively, actively participating in numerous residencies that have taken her from Syracuse, NY to San Francisco, CA. Hackemann is a MFA graduate of Stanford University, CA and received her BFA from the University of Westminster, London. Recent exhibitions include the 5th Biennial of Contemporary Art in Novosibirsk, Siberia (2007) and Chinatown In/Flux, a large, site-specific public art project in Philadelphia in conjunction with the Asian Arts Association.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Angela Silver Makes her Mark in Beverly, MA

Concerned with the structure of speech and corporeal experience, Silver's performance and subsequent installation involved using an electronic typewriter ball as a tool to create a pattern of black, alphabetic imprints captured with carbon paper. "The black letters slip, collapse and collide," Silver explains, "as an examination into the elasticity of the English language void of any direct meaning, representing the internal organs, the sounds, sighs and utterances that form a language."

A timely and relevant piece considering our email and text-message-base
d communication, the Anastrope Series encourages viewers to consider the performance of language and the fluid use of text in private and public spheres. The overwhelming use of text-messaging creates more private conversations in public spaces, yet the performance of these exchanges has shifted from the "sounds, sighs and utterances" that Silver mentions, to the swift movement of thumbs.

The Anastrope Series at Frame 301 was installed with the help and creativity of Montserrat Freshmen, Thom Bush and Zach Goldstein. For more information please visit: Montserrat College of Art Galleries - Frame 301

Monday, March 30, 2009

Water Colors: Fountain NY 2009 Like the vessel that holds it, the Fountain Art Fair is stripped-down, but glaringly eccentric.

"The Fountain Art Fair prides itself on independence, so much that this year, for its third anniversary, organizers decided to host it on a barge afloat in the Hudson—a symbolic separation that underscores the show’s desired freedom from the more traditional fairs down the avenue. Clean, white-walled cubicles with neatly lettered placards are traded in for more organic layouts that spill over their boundaries, paired with grease smoke from the kitchen grill churning out hot dogs and clam chowder......"

For more of this review by Amanda Scigaj, please visit:


Saturday, March 28, 2009


A Domestic History of Beverly, MA (comfort), an installation by Valerie Rafferty on view March 3 - March 29, 2009.

A discreet tribute to the community, (comfort) was constructed with materials that once belonged to the households of Beverly. Over the course of four months Rafferty collected pillows and seat cushions that had been left out for the trash. With the stuffing emptied at floor of the installation, the worn and tarnished fabrics are hung and displayed without garnish. While recording a material history, the work is also a testament to this cultural exchange between Montserrat students and the Beverly community.

"To be honest, I think it began as a reaction against painting itself. I began to notice that there was a trend at Montserrat toward painting and very modernist ideals. This frustrated me, as I was very interested in exploring other materials and ideas in other ways. I began as a painter and photographer and, in a roundabout way, I think the school forced me to question the use of certain materials and they way that materials and objects are typically used.

Frame 301 was a very challenging, yet rewarding space to work within. You basically have 14 inches of depth to move between the window and wall, making it very difficult to paint and install work. It became a completely performative experience for me. I had never been forced to work inside one of my pieces the way that I had to that day. I actually really think the window would lend itself to performance more than any other type of work because, as an artist, you are encased inside the space, yet completely on display for anyone and everyone to see. " Rafferty, March, 27 2009.

For more images and information visit: http://www.montserrat.edu/galleries/

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Montserrat College of Art is pleased to announce that alternative display space, Frame 301, has been awarded a grant from the Beverly Cultural Council (BCC). This grant will enable Frame 301 to attract a wider array of local, national and international artists by providing partial shipping and travel expenses for featured artists.

As a part of the new initiative supported by the BCC grant, this blog was created as a forum for discussion and critique of alternative display spaces in the Greater Boston area. As a gesture from the college to the community, Frame 301 wants to invite and engage in a dialogue that with Beverly citizens and the creative public at large. Students, visitors and members of the global community are invited to share throughs on Frame 301 exhibitions, other unconventional installations and their ideas for incorporating the visual arts into daily life.

Frame 301 has a stimulating line-up planned for the coming months, including the edgy, text-based work of Canadian artist Angela Silver and the imagines machines of West Coast sculptor and mixed-media artist Margaret Realica. For more information on upcoming installations, visit http://www.montserrat.edu/galleries/.