You’re not looking at this in the right light
by Allison Bolah
You’re not looking at this in the right light is a multi-media installation by artist Allison Bolah in response to the play Gidion’s Knot. The installation considers both Pillsbury House’s community and facilities as it explores young people’s experiences of miscommunication. Through video, still photographs, ‘classroom’ installations, and web-based pieces, this project engages youth and adults who use the Pillsbury House space.
Join us for an Opening Reception on Friday, Feb. 23.
Installation is up through the run of Gidion’s Knot, Mar. 23
From the artist:
Because Gideon’s Knot hinges on adult interpretations of children’s texts in a public primary school setting, the central theme in You’re not looking at this in the right light is sending/receiving meaning. As a former Language Arts instructor, I have experienced the diverse ways an off-hand utterance or a poem decoded in the classroom results in ripples of tension or insight. To make full use of Pillsbury House’s space, I’ve planned installations for each floor of the building including its ‘fourth’ floor, the online presence.
In the first floor lobby, video and ‘classroom’ installations gives voice to young people from Pillsbury House + Theatre’s after school program who, like the young people mentioned in the play, are often only heard through their writing. Collected texts of being misunderstood are de- and re-contextualized in youth performances and written ‘assignments’.
The second floor–the “home” of Pillsbury House + Theatre’s after school program–features photographs taken of youth as they share their stories to maintain a connection to the ‘origin’ of some of the texts from the first floor.
On the third floor, in the Health Clinic waiting area off the elevator, is a desk, chair, and additional ‘assignments’ echoing the first floor installation.
As a public component of this project, a web installation will include excerpts from the larger installation and an interactive installation dealing with the interpretation of text similar to the ‘classroom’ installations on the first and third floors.
Allison Bolah was born in Alberta, Canada in 1975. Her interdisciplinary practice draws on experiences with literature and photography; in installations of video, sound, and paper-based objects, she documents the ways language and gesture shape identity and create complex worlds of human relationships. In awareness of W.E.B. Du Bois’ theory of double-consciousness, she is mindful that her work belongs to and ‘reads’ differently in her various communities and thus seeks opportunities to show her work in non-traditional spaces.
Prior to pursing her MFA, Allison taught high school Language Arts in South Florida for eight years. She has and continues to participate in collaborative and educational artistic endeavors that join community and academic work with her studio practice. Prior to pursing her MFA, Allison taught high school Language Arts in South Florida for eight years. She has and continues to participate in collaborative and educational artistic endeavors that join community and academic work with her studio practice. She has developed book arts projects as the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Collegiate Fellow. She was recently awarded a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.
She will complete her MFA in Visual Studies at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2014.
This project is made possible through the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by the Theater Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.