Art overflows at Foot in the Door 4

Taking art from newbies across the area, avant-garde representations of Barbie sit alongside minimalistic linguistic tickers.

by John Sand

WHAT: âÄúFoot in the Door 4âÄù WHERE: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S. WHEN: Feb. 19 âÄì June 13 TICKETS: Free On the first day of my âÄúBody and the Politics of Representation âÄú class this semester, my professor proclaimed that for something to be considered âÄúart,âÄù it must be recognized by an institution. By that theory, until someone important decides you are worth being seen, creation is just a whole lot of futile repetitive motion. âÄúFoot in the Door 4,âÄù the newest exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, seeks to recognize everyone as an artist. The show, which happens once every decade, opens its doors to submissions of all kinds to sit on display in a nationally recognized art museum. This year, almost 5,000 works were submitted over the course of four days, and the real task of hanging these objects began. With art taking entire walls of the usually sparse Minnesota Artists Exhibition gallery and even spilling over into the section for contemporary textiles, âÄúit just defies categorization. It’s not possible to generalize or thematize it,âÄù said Christopher Atkins , Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program coordinator and the show’s curator. âÄú[Foot in the Door 4] is a lot of voices talking at the same time.âÄù The walls are stacked up to 18 works high, filled with photographs of men in slippers playing the accordion, intricate bronze necklaces and even graphic design prints. Four students at Northwestern College in St. Paul submitted pristine white boxes, each with a red button and red lettering, âÄúyes,âÄù âÄúprobably,âÄù âÄúmaybeâÄù and âÄúnoâÄù fitted with counters that will report what buttons were pressed over the course of the exhibition. Pedestals in the center of the gallery house everything from sculptures to a comic book called âÄúVagabondâÄù to a nude Barbie in a bowl marked primordial soup. With so many works of art, a number system was required to help artists locate their own work. That’s not the most important part of the exhibition though, according to Atkins. âÄúIt’s about visibility, but it’s not about being discovered. It’s about being part of something,âÄù he said. âÄúFoot in the Door 4âÄù is about the celebration of the rich Twin Cities arts community. With all of the art waiting for submission, it’s no wonder Minneapolis is frequently listed within the top art cities on the globe. All submissions were categorized, and their data was hand-entered into a searchable database online, including videos on the MIA’s Vimeo channel. The opening party Thursday evening will take up the entire museum, with Lucy Michelle and Velvet Lapelles jamming next to the gallery and a DJ in the General Mills wing . âÄúFoot in the Door 4âÄù opens up the world of artistry for those unable to devote themselves to a life of starving artistry.