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Exchange: Environment/Experience

September 9, 2009

we are

In thinking about why I am interested in pursuing this experiment, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of environment when defining an experience.  When an artist exchanges the environment typical to any given experience for one that is unexpected, they suddenly ask us to examine the experience itself.  Museums do this, spectacle theater does this, and artist Juan Angel Chavez does this.

Chavez’s work is rooted in the unexpected.  His body of public artwork (both commissioned and “non-permission”) creates the experience of finding  beauty (and sometimes humor) where you least expect it: in everyday spaces that usually demand less than no attention.  His more recent body of installation artwork manages to create an experience somehow almost the other side of the coin despite the fact that it uses the same language of materials and imagery.

For example:

Take art outside=Unexpected Experience  v. 1.0

15 years ago (outside, non-permission)

15 years ago (outside, non-permission)

Bring outside inside (through found, almost junkyard, materials)=Unexpected Experience v. 2.0

15 years ago (installation, 312 Gallery)

15 years ago (installation, 312 Gallery)

The piece is the same. The experience of seeing it is completely different.  The experience is defined by the environment.  Chavez intrigues me for this very sensibility, playing in different worlds and yet always remaining unexpected.

Learn more about the artist on his website and make sure to visit for yet another unexpected experience.

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