I Swear I Saw This: the line as witness, February 11-March 5, 2017


February 11-March 5, 2017

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 11, 6-9 PM
Featuring a poetry reading by participating writer Jacob Sunderlin

Panel Discussion: Art As Tool for Witnessing: Thursday, February 16, 7:30-8:30 PM
Curator Mike Calway-Fagen and participating artists

Group poetry reading: Sunday, March 5, 4:00-6:00 PM
Curated by Jacob Sunderlin

The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is pleased to present, I Swear I Saw This: the line as witness, a multi-faceted group exhibition. The installation includes sinuous sculptural works, drawings, and writing that examine the wandering, witnessing, and becoming-the-other that take place when one writes, sculpts, or draws.

Each contribution focuses on line, as form traces form, translating perception to representation and back again.

These artists make their world and the world makes them back.

Featured Artists Include:
Christina Tsui
Courtney McClellan
George Belcher
Jacob Sunderlin
Jon Swindler

About the Curator:
Mike Calway-Fagen is an artist, writer, and curator based in Athens, GA. He received a BFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Recently he opened solo exhibitions at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Ditch Projects in Oregon. and the Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis. Mike has attended residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, The Fine Arts Work Center, and Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. Mike has lectured at a number of institutions including the Universities of California, Tennessee, Oregon, Nevada, SAIC, Bowdoin College, MCAD, Auburn, and others. Mike’s work has been reviewed in Art Papers, World Sculpture Magazine, Art F City, and is the focus of a chapter in a soon-to-be-published book, The Phenomenology of Art and Animals (Routledge Press). Mike is Head of the Sculpture Department at the University of Georgia, Athens.

“During a sketch comedy performance an actor follows a script and is expected to perform in tune, with eventual laughter the outcome. At times, not everything goes as planned. These professionals stumble, they break character, and even laugh at their own botched attempt at mastery. They become unstuck, they are neither performer nor audience and aren’t laughed at or with. They are something entirely different. When we laugh as Gilda Radnor can’t hold it together we experience what collective vulnerability is, how frail the body and mind are, and how redeeming empathic embarrassment is.

The fourth wall splits audience and actor creating codeified spaces and performances. Reality really is a membrane and these two seemingly disparate entities spit back and forth, exchanging information, materials, and impacts.

I re-approach all things with this in mind. How might a sculpture, video, photo, collage, or whatever stumble right along with the viewer, breaths held, eyes open.” — Mike Calway-Fagen