Gallery showcases the natural process of chaos
THE SANTA CLARA
October 30, 2014
A photo of a decaying whale. A display of mushrooms growing in the corner. A neon sign that reads “You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Here.” Paint cans piled almost to the ceiling. A video compilation of news clips broadcasted on a TV.
Seemingly disconnected pieces of art came together under the theme of “Interrupting Entropy” in the third floor gallery of the Harrington Learning Commons, last month.
In spring, 14 students who took the “Curating Contemporary Art is an Art History” organized and designed the exhibit by chose pieces of contemporary art.
Throughout the 10-week course, students broke into small groups.
They selected works of art that fit the theme, contacted world-renowned artists, wrote essays and grant proposals, designed the layout of the exhibit and created a catalogue for the exhibition.
The subject of the exhibit is the concept of entropy — the scientific theory which describes a natural increase of chaos and disorder in the universe.
“The idea of entropy is really important, and the more we talk about it I recognize that it doesn’t just apply to this art; it applies to our everyday lives,” said art and art history assistant professor Tobias Wofford, who taught the class. “There will always be forces that we are exposed to and things that crumble around us, and we are always in a kind of dialogue with that chaos and fighting it off.”
Senior Hannah Baker, who took the class, said the most formative part of the experience was the behind-the-scenes work that went into curating the exhibit.
“The most challenging part of the process was trying to get fourteen people to agree on art,” Baker said.
Wofford praised the diversity of the pieces in the exhibit.
“The concept is an interesting mix of art history and science and in this way it reminds me of Santa Clara,” he said. “The theme certainly reflects the experience of students here trying to hold it together through the chaos.”
The exhibit includes photographs, various types of paintings and murals, sculptures, signs and video compilations all related to the theme of connecting disorder and chaos.
“These different aspects and expressions of art seem very disorganized and chaotic until they are presented and analyzed together, when it is clear that they form patterns in the coherent theme of ‘Interrupting Entropy,’” Baker said.
The class and exhibit were funded by a grant from the Hearst Foundations’ Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts.
The students drew from a collection of artworks generously on loan from San Diego-based art philanthropist and collector Charles Betlach.
The exhibit is available for viewing until March 2015.
Contact Krista Clawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.