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Saturday August 30th 2014

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Force. Measure. Resistance.

By Sarah McCartan

Nestled within the University of West Florida’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) is The Art Gallery, or TAG, as it is commonly known. Consistently throughout each school year, TAG hosts a variety of different artists, displaying work across endless mediums. Each show includes an opening reception, providing the campus and surrounding community a social way to experience the art and meet the artist.

While TAG opens its doors to invite quite a number of visiting artists every semester, a large majority of the work showcased within the gallery is born from within the walls of the University of West Florida Art Department. This high caliber of work is created by the hands and minds of both faculty and students.

The current Fall semester at TAG is largely dedicated to such work, by artists ranging from design interns to seasoned faculty, and features multiple BFA exit shows.

“These exhibitions are a required final thesis for Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates,” explained TAG Director, Nick Croghan. “This is designed to give the students experience developing, promoting, and installing a professional quality exhibition of their body of work.”

While some exit shows include assemblies of multiple students, others showcase individual work. Up next on TAG’s lineup for September is the work of graduating senior, Studio Art Major, Filipe De Sousa, titled “Force. Measure. Resistance.”

Throughout the planning and execution process of his installation, the following motivational words of his former professors have resonated through De Sousa’s veins—and serve as advice to all artists—regardless of medium:

“Don’t be afraid to create work that some people are going to say isn’t art, or that other people won’t put in the effort to create, or that is over the top—create that work.”

When De Sousa set out to execute his installation, he was a force with an idea.

“You have this idea—that’s the easy part. The hard part is creating the idea,” he explained. “Basically all your work is figuring out how you’re going to do it.”

De Sousa’s idea was immediately met, and matched with resistance.

“Instead of turning a blind eye, I decided to take it into consideration and let it dictate what my work is going to be,” he said.

“It’s me as the artist introducing a force and the force being met with a resistance. And it’s the two in play with each other that are dictating what the work of art is going to be. So the work of art ends up being a measure of the two forces in contrast.”

Quickly this resounding theme not only took shape and developed as a result of this idea, but also simultaneously gave form to, and dictated his work. Somewhere between what the physical space of TAG is able to hold, what De Sousa set out to create and what he was allowed to create, coupled with the push and pull of negotiations and the logistics, is the resulting installation.

Within the final weeks leading up to his exhibition, De Sousa was forced to revamp his plans for his main attraction involving multiple concrete posts weighing in at 1,000 lbs. each. Rather than this being a setback, it’s become a collaboration or joint effort of sorts, between De Sousa and the variables.

“This is just another element of what it means to create art,” he said. “What I’ve realized is, when you go into a museum you’re not just seeing a painting by Jackson Pollock. You’re not just seeing a sculpture by Jeff Koons. Your experience is being dictated not just by the artist’s work, but it’s being dictated by the powers that be.”

In an effort to visibly show this resistance, and the great many outside forces that came into play, a portion of the installation that was unable to be brought inside TAG, will remain visibly present on the other side of the glass window panes.

“The interesting thing about glass is that’s it’s a barrier but you can also see through it. On the inside you see what’s allowed to be inside and on the outside you see what’s not allowed to be but it’s still creating a singular form,” said De Sousa.

Another installment is a wind tunnel.

“On one side of the entrance you will feel air pushing you. At the other side you will feel air pulling you in. So in that circumstance the force is the wind that is met with the resistance of the walls, and the measure is through your body,” said De Sousa.

Because it is site specific to TAG, “It relies on the place that it is and the people who are there in the place,” he said. “It will help the viewer to understand that the show is about perception—it’s about experience.”

“Force. Measure. Resistance.” will be on display at TAG from Sept. 16 through Sept. 28, with an opening reception held Thursday, Sept 19.

Following the exhibit’s closing is the UWF Art Faculty Exhibition, beginning Oct. 3. This annual exhibition visibly represents the personalities and talents of between 20 and 40 UWF faculty members.

Visiting fall artists include Mindy Abovitz, Publisher and Creator of Tom Tom Magazine, who will be doing a drum performance on Nov. 25, followed by an artist talk Nov. 26. To stay up to date with TAG, visit tag82uwf.wordpress.com.

FORCE. MEASURE. RESISTANCE.
WHAT: Filipe De Sousa BFA Exit Exhibition
WHEN: Opening reception 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19; Exhibition on display Sept. 16 – 28
WHERE: The Art Gallery at UWF, 11000 University Pkwy, Bldg 82, Room 240
DETAILS: tag82uwf.wordpress.com or 474.2696