I And This Mystery Here We Stand

“I And This Mystery Here We Stand”is a print-based public art installation by Natasha Pestich that responds to Pillsbury House Theatre’s Spring 2014 production of Michael Milligan’s play Mercy Killers.  Based on interviews with health care providers, volunteers and patients (many of which came from Pillsbury House’s Integrated Health Clinic run by Northwestern University), Pestich designed, printed, and installed a series of screen-printed posters in and around Pillsbury House + Theatre and the surrounding neighborhoods. Reflecting concerns and questions about the current health care system, the aim of these posters is to make visible the personal challenges ordinary citizens face, and to make public personal expressions of empathy, care and love.

The title of this project is derived from a line in the Walt Whitman poem Song of Myself, which for me both addresses the mystery of existence and the connectivity of all things in life and death. —Natasha Pestich 

The installation is up during the run of Mercy Killers, April 23 – May 4, 2014.
Join us for an Opening Reception on Wednesday, April 23.

Artist’s Statement

I create fictional archives, artifacts and site-based interventions that address social realities, such as the drawbacks of progress, the effects of institutional frameworks on cultural production and the influence of publicly held ideals on private values. My images and objects are often amassed together representing complex mythologies that take up an entire gallery, or intervene in a public place, often mimicking forms of communication we are familiar with, such as newspaper spreads, a collection of posters or a museum archive.

My process begins by imagining how I or we relate to a given place or situation.  This is usually a collective process, where people describe how a given issue or environment effects their lives, feelings and thoughts. Conversations evolve into discussions about what we want or need from the place in question; or sometimes it is a specific issue that affects the community inhabiting the place that we want to make visible. After these discussions, I or we invent ways to make the conversation have some type of presence in the place like a wall painting, a mural, posters or a performative gesture. The intention is to facilitate an experience that builds community among participants and/or supports community initiatives, and also move, surprise, inform or delight the person who will see the art.

Artist Biography

Natasha Pestich is a local Minneapolis artist, educator and community artist. She received her Bachelorof Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and her Master of Fine Arts in Printmakingfrom Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Working primarily in site-specificinstallation and works on paper, her work has been showcased in alternative spaces, churches, social service centers andmuseums in the United States, Rome and Scotland. She is the recipient of a number of awards includinga McKnight Artist Fellowship, an Institute for Creative Community Leadership fellowship,a State Arts Board grant and a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grant. She is currently working onarts-based community partnerships.

“I And This Mystery Here We Stand” and Pillsbury House + Theatre are participants in the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and administered by the Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.

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