“Free Associations” by the artists collaborative Eric and Heather ChanSchatz is a single channel video featuring interviews with UTC students, employees, administrators and educators. It will be shown until November 30 in the Cress Gallery of Art / Gallery II.
ChanSchatz created this work from video interviews of selected UTC residents. They traveled the campus from August 22 – 24, 2007. Some individuals interviewed were chosen randomly; some were selected in advance by the artists from their research of the campus but were “informally” encountered by the artists as these individuals had no advance notice. The artists asked for a response to a ChanSchatz “character” from a collection of non-objective drawings which the artists have developed and that, while different than a Rorschach inkblot, operate in a somewhat similar fashion. The artists also asked questions about UTC, the Chattanooga community, and the role and relationship of the University to the community.
“The ChanSchatz video installation that resulted is essentially a product of the artists’ thinking and intuition. Their work is very process oriented. In a sense, they study a population and the work is a direct result of their research, in this case video interviews,” said Curator Ruth Grover. “So instead of painting with a brush, ChanSchatz have assembled something of a cross section of individuals from the campus who speak their own thoughts in the artists’ composition, and much like the traditional process of “painting” creatively, there is an element of discovery as all of these individual thoughts when put together into one work become a whole not considered before.”
With a running length of one hour, seventeen minutes, the piece is much like a painting or a sculptural rendering, full of texture and color, composition and perspective, both literal and implied. The viewer is encouraged to sit, listen and watch, to be exposed to the thoughts expressed in order to reach new conclusions about what “we” are as a society both micro and macroscopically for at its best, art teaches us about ourselves and encourages thinking in new directions.
“The interrelationship between campus and community, and the community of campus expressed in the responses ChanSchatz gather in “Free Associations” is quite a picture,” said Grover.
ChanSchatz will give a public lecture at the Hunter Museum of Art, Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 6 p.m. during their Hunter Museum exhibition “Together” November 24 – February 10, 2008, sponsored in partnership by the Hunter Museum and the UTC Department of Art. Nandini Makrandi, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Hunter and Assistant Professor of Art History at UTC, will conduct a gallery walk-through of the Hunter exhibition on Thursday, November 29, 6 p.m.
Cress Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:30 – 7 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 – 5 p.m. The Cress is located in the lobby of the UTC Fine Art Center, Vine and Palmetto Streets. Admission to the gallery is free.