Multicultural Artists Examine Forgiveness, Identity, and Heritage | November 6, 2020
Based in Lower Manhattan, New York, apexart is a non-profit arts organization with a mission to challenge our notions of culture, art, exhibitions, and curation. Featuring emerging and established artists alike, its seasoned curators select some of the most striking and thought-provoking works of today.
This Fall, the “Elongated Shadows” exhibition with work by artists Kei Ito, Migiwa Orimo, Azumi O E, Suzanne Hodes, Andrew Paul Keiper, and Air Beser, winners of apexart’s juried Open Calls program. A poignant multimedia collection examining the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, each piece explores the facets of the horrific event. The work delves in from the view of the Americans who designed and detonated the bombs, the impact on those who fell victim to the attacks, and the trauma inherited by younger generations.
Lisa Vagnoni, web director at apexart, talks a bit about the creation of the Matterport 3D tour of this exhibition, and its role in sharing and educating in a greater context. “Elongated Shadows” is viewable at apexart until October 24, 2020 by private showing, admitting one person or part at a time.
Q: What inspired the 3D capture of the “Elongated Shadows” exhibition?
After the pandemic hit, and it became clear many spaces were going to limit in-person access to their exhibitions, we wanted to find a way to provide a more accessible virtual option, beyond the standard approach many galleries took in placing all the works on a webpage and calling that page an online exhibition. The 3D capture allows a degree of exploration and engagement that is not otherwise possible on a scrolling webpage and feels a bit funkier and more interesting than a fully computer-generated virtual space.
Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?
In addition to the actual works captured for the Matterport space, we have included all the supplemental content you would have access to in the real gallery, like the dual-language brochure, checklist, related events, and a donation link; in addition to some that you wouldn’t, like video interviews with the curator and artists. In expanding upon the content included in the exhibition like this, we hope that visitors will be encouraged to take a deep dive into the themes explored. As a non-profit educational arts organization, these tools help us expand upon a robust learning element in our exhibitions.
Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring “Elongated Shadows”?
The topic of the exhibition may appear to be pretty far removed from what is going on in the world today. We hope that in exploring the myriad viewpoints of artists connected to the development of the bombs, and third-generation survivors of the bombings, visitors will be prompted to reflect on themes of forgiveness, identity, and heritage.
Q: You’ve included some audio clips via Mattertag for some of the pieces. How does this added sensory piece help bring the piece to life in the 3D tour?
The piece Afterimage Requiem by Kei Ito and Andrew Paul Keiper is a combination visual and audio piece, with Ito creating the prints and Keiper creating the audio, and these elements are intended to be experienced in tandem like this, as you would hear its sound while viewing the prints in the real gallery space. Just like in the exhibition space itself, when listening to the audio in the Matterport, one feels transported to the different locations where Keiper did field recordings for the work.
Q: The gallery viewing of this exhibition was delayed due to Covid-19. How did you cope with the uncertainty?
We took it one week at a time and adjusted our public communication as new information for New York City developed. And in line with the city’s reopening plan, we have expanded from online-only to combination online-and-in-person with cautionary measures in place. Initially, it was a question of trusting the shutdown to do its thing and lead to a reduction in cases, and we just had to get creative in adapting the exhibitions and programming to online in order to wait out that period. There was a lot of faith, innovation, and improvisation involved.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
We encourage all of our Matterport visitors to get the full online experience of Elongated Shadows at apexart.org/faust.php, and anyone interested in applying as a curator for our next season to check out our Open Call at apexart.org/opencalls.html