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Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 5:08 a.m.

Concordia exhibit collaborates on the concept of 'Slice'

By John Carlos Cantu


"Carrot: Slice"

Sometimes it may seem that true artistic collaboration requires a dose of anonymity. After all, the notion of collaboration tends to slip away once the extent of that collaboration is laid bare.

There’s no danger of such a division in Concordia University Kreft Center Gallery’s “SLICE: Connections and Deviations.” The exhibit, a full-fledged collaboration by University of Texas art instructors Joyce Rosner and Michelle Bayer, starts with Rosner’s generosity in sharing the exhibition with Bayer after having won this year’s National Kreft Juried Exhibition.

But “SLICE” is very much a collaborative effort in every other sense.

As the exhibit’s gallery statement tells us, “A central theme in Rosner and Bayer's work is the idea of an iterative collection. Through the interplay of hand and material, narrative tension is developed between the subject and its recorded evidence. “In this exhibit, the artists use the idea of dissective slice to reveal connections and deviations in the collection by capturing both the formal and experiential qualities of location, light, and time.”

No matter how one slices Rosner’s and Bayer’s individual contributions, the tension between the singular and the aggregate creates fascinating intersections of continuity and divergence.

For example, a collection of 144 stitched tea bags in the duo’s wall-mounted “Tea: Quilt” are qualitatively different yet also essentially the same. The stitched-together bags arranged in a dozen rows become a masterly observation on token and type.

A sameness also links four cyanotypes in the exhibit: “Daikon,” “Cauliflower,” “Carrot,” and “Cucumber,” where each photo is a shadowy work of art that’s been sliced to reflect its overlapping vegetative “connections and deviations.” Rosner and Bayer use the cyanotype photographic printing process to make each constituent element a mystery in its own right.

The signature artworks in the exhibit are the duo’s six literal slices. These minuscule wonders—“Sweet Potato,” “Daikon,” “Cauliflower,” “Carrot” and “Kiwi”—consist of thinly shaved fruit and vegetable segments arranged in symmetrical conglomerations.

Carefully partitioned, each colorful element of Rosner and Bayer’s deftly arranged “Slices” crowd each other by simply being part of a whole.

“SLICE: Connections and Deviations” will continue through Dec. 4 at the Kreft Center Gallery at Concordia University, 4090 Geddes Road. Gallery hours are noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; and 1-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For information, call 734-995-4612.