The exhibit with no name

The Soo Visual Art Center opens its eighth annual “Untitled” exhibit at the same time as “SooFUSE,” its juried teen show.

“Untitled 8,” Soo Visual Arts Center’s annual Juried Exhibition opens this Saturday. The show, featuring art by eight artists runs until late August.

“Untitled 8,” Soo Visual Arts Center’s annual Juried Exhibition opens this Saturday. The show, featuring art by eight artists runs until late August.

by Mark Brenden


âÄúUntitled 8âÄù

Where: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2638, S. Lyndale Ave. Minneapolis

When: July 9 through August 21

âÄúUntitled 8,âÄù the upcoming exhibit at Soo Visual Arts Center, is about as wide-open as art shows get. The exhibit, which features eight artists chosen by the WalkerâÄôs assistant curator, Bartholomew Ryan, has no name, no theme and no limits.

However, âÄúno themeâÄù does not mean no direction. This is the eighth year for SooâÄôs juried âÄúUntitledâÄù series. The open exhibition allows for different artists to make dissimilar pieces of work and have them all hang out in the same room. Alison Hiltner, gallery manager at the Soo, said that sometimes a theme will reveal itself naturally, but sometimes the theme essentially becomes quality.

âÄú[Un-themed shows] allow for artists to go in their natural direction as an artist instead of trying to fit new work into a theme,âÄù Hiltner said.

This year the work is a bit scattered, but there are a few common denominators. The creations range from Donna DralleâÄôs drawings of naked composers to Kate CassanovaâÄôs video piece of tarantulas crawling on a womanâÄôs head. Steven Lang and Erin Hernsberger found common ground in examining food in their pieces. LangâÄôs is a series of photographs that displays a chaotic and messy plate of food, whose titles are the dish and the price. Hernsberger focuses a bit more on the grotesque, dressing up photographs of cow liver and a pig embryo, among other unique plates.

Hernsberger, a third-year graduate student and professor of photography at the University of Minnesota, finds a strange fascination in that which nauseates us. Most of her work deals with photographing the revolting, and making it, in a way, pretty.

âÄúMy work is motivated by my desire to understand and explore personal reactions of disgust and repulsion in relation to the body,âÄù Hernsberger said.

It seems only appropriate that HernsbergerâÄôs statement would be rooted in veganism, forcing consumers to look at some of their more repulsive carnivorous activities. But Hernsberger, who used to teach animal ethics, said that though she did not try any of her artistic plates, she is not a vegan, and that there really isnâÄôt an overt statement behind the photographs.

âÄúIâÄôm interested in why we eat what we eat, looking at that relationship between us and animals, us and the flesh that we eat. But the piece isnâÄôt necessarily only about that,âÄù Hernsberger said. âÄúI want to go a little bit deeper and also broader than just animal ethics.âÄù

In the next room down from âÄúUntitled 8,âÄù the Soo will also be opening the second annual âÄúSooFUZE,âÄù a juried teen art exhibition. The event was submission-based, seeing over 40 offers from youngsters across Minnesota. Juror Mike Davis, also co-owner of Burlesque of North America, chose nine of them. Carolyn Payne, executive director at the Soo, said that the talented teen artists have a rare opportunity to see into their futures a little bit.

âÄúItâÄôs nice for them to exhibit alongside artists of different ages and different stage of their career, and learn how an exhibit goes,âÄù Payne