The Wellin Museum of Art’s Theaters of Fiction – works that address both the theater and opera’s historic associations with power, privilege, and wealth and those that represent sites of more democratic and popular entertainment – opens on Saturday, Feb. 16. The exhibition includes more than 20 works – including paintings, photography, and installations - by seven international, contemporary artists.

The exhibition opens with a reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 16 and closes on June 9. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

Spanning a variety of mediums, the works explore themes of illusion, power, escapism, and artificiality through the physical space of the theater. They were created within the last 20 years by a roster of international artists with divergent practices: Rhona Bitner (American), Ceal Floyer (British), Candida Höfer (German), Lisa Kereszi (American), Guillermo Kuitca (Argentinian), Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese), and Carrie Mae Weems (American). All of the works engage in a dialogue around image creation, art production, and the audience/viewer in a highly self-reflexive manner.

Katherine Alcauskas, the Wellin’s Collections Curator and Exhibitions Manager, curated this exhibition. She explains, “Rather than depicting actors or audience members, these artists look outside the performance itself to the space in which it unfolds. Foregrounding the absences present in spaces where fictions are staged, these works explore the enchantment and fallacy of fantasy and reveal the constructs and hierarchies of culture and of the fabrications with which we entertain ourselves.”

As part of the interactive and exploratory WellinWorks series, an experimental, pop-up theater space will accompany the exhibition and will host courses, a range of activities, and exhibition-related programming between Feb. 16 and April 14.

Wellin Museum of Art hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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