Disruptive Stillness was an exhibition I curated in 2011 for the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery at the Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan. Participants were selected from around the world via an open call.
Why is stillness a disruption? While many artists align themselves with the culture of the frenetic that permeates the networked society, a growing number of artists challenge their audience to avoid the trap of speed: they believe in the power of contemplation and have witnessed firsthand the radical nature of stillness, a state of being which disrupts contemporary life.
As our surroundings become increasingly frantic, the choice to remain still – or to encourage others to do so – becomes a powerful supposition beyond the norm, causing reactions ranging between acceptance, confusion, and discomfort.
This juried exhibition explored a variety of contemporary artists’ methods for incorporating the notion of stillness into the objects and experiences they create. The exhibition included works in a variety of media including painting, photography, video, fibers, installation, video and sound.
Participating artists included Sudandyo Aprilianto, Alicia Chester & Michael DeBonis, Seth Cluett, Coppice (Noé Cuéllar & Joseph Kramer), Reed Esslinger, Andy Graydon, Kirsty Hall, Mike Hallenbeck, Pato Hebert, Lindsey Hook, Emilia Javanica, Dragana Jurisic, Andrew Kaufman, Andy Klunder, Yuan Ma, Anne Elizabeth Moore, David Newman, Barbara Polster, Gloria Pritschet, James Rotz, Karen Roulstone, David Rueter, Edward Salem, Jada Schumacher, Dave Seidel, Matt Shaw, Judith Simonds, Susan Stacks, and Paul Steenhuisen.
The closing reception featured sound performances by ibi (Collin McRae Leix & John Kannenberg) and Seth Cluett.