University Art Museum Opens Doors to Summer Exhibitions for First Time in Years

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Joel Tauber, Attempting To Restore Happyville (photo, 2013) from the art installation and movie, The Sharing Project.

The University Art Museum (UAM) announced this week that for the first time in several years, it will open its doors during the summer months for two exhibitions, The Sharing Project and Lost in Time: Selections from the Peckenpaugh Collection.

The Sharing Project, now on view until July 19, 2015, is artist Joel Tauber's way of questioning whether we share enough in our capitalist world. The 15-channel video installation focuses on his experience teaching his young son, Zeke, how to share.

Lost in Time, on view until December 13, 2015, is a permanent collection exhibition featuring photographs from the Peckenpaugh collection, an extensive body of work donated to the UAM by longtime museum supporters Tom and Barbara Peckenpaugh.

The opening reception for both exhibitions is this Saturday, June 20 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM and is free and open to the public. A performance by Earth Like Planets, a Los Angeles-based indie solo act by visual artist Brian Cooper will kick off the opening reception from 6:00PM to 6:30PM.

The UAM exhibition is the United States debut of The Sharing Project, which was recently featured at the Adamski Gallery for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany. Viewers can watch the central video of Tauber's exploration entitled Happyville, which tells a story of his and his son's experience attempting to "fix" the nearly forgotten Socialist Jewish commune founded near Aiken, South Carolina that no longer exists.

Seating and media tablets are provided for viewing the 21 different interviews Tauber conducted with experts in the fields of anthropology, philosophy, economics, education, biology, psychology and history who contributed their thoughts to his myriad questions, such as: When should we share? How much should we share? Do we have biological impulses that encourage us to share, discourage us, or both? Are we actually teaching our kids to share, or are we just pretending to do so? If we do value sharing, why is there so much poverty in this very rich country? If we value sharing, how come socialism is such an evil word? 

As part of The Sharing Project, Tauber has invited the public to share their toys and arrange them in the Gordon F. Hampton Gallery throughout the course of the exhibition. The UAM will be collecting toys through July 19. Taber's goal is to show both generosity and excess through the public's participation in the project.

On July 19 during the exhibition's Family Day and closing reception, the public is invited to take the toys with the intention to give them to whomever they think will enjoy them. For more information about The Sharing Project, click here. Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by Wake Forest University and the CSULB Department of Academic Technology.

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Neil Chapman, Dante’s View, Death Valley, 1977 (Gift of Thomas D. and Barbara C. Peckenpaugh).

Lost in Time features photos from the the Peckenpaugh Collection, of which Tom and Barbara Peckenpaugh have donated nearly 400 works to the museum, the largest portfolio in the permanent collection. The couple has been collecting photographs since 1980. Lost in Time is an exhibit of the works that have to do with the sublime, according to the UAM announcement, "a notion understood to inspire awe, most often in relation to the natural landscape and our place within it."

Viewers who attend this event will be encouraged to realize a sense of their own smallness within a setting of expansive space or history through these photographs that are reflective of Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant's treatises on the subject of the sublime: the feeling of insignificance in the face of grandeur, a feeling of awe, a counterpart to the comfort and perfection of beauty.

These photographs, on display in the Permanent Collection Gallery, "have a certain confrontational power, forcing the viewer to face their own place within the world, marking the passage of time in a way that is sometimes uncomfortable and ultimately rewarding in its cathartic power," according to the UAM's description.



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