'Science & ethics, good & evil, campy & deadly serious.'
Monsters and gods may lurk about your mind and under your bed, but this month they also prowl the Galleries of Contemporary Art faculty show.
Gods & Monsters is the second apparition of Daisy McConnell and Jessica Hunter-Larsen's brainchild: city-wide artistic collaboration around one solid theme. Gallery directors at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Colorado College, respectively, they unveiled the concept two years ago with Cross Pollination, a bee-themed project that included art shows with works done in encaustic (beeswax) and a film screening of Vanishing of the Bees.
This time, says Hunter-Larsen, they'll deliver "a very broad example of how artists have chosen to look at the topic of gods and monsters." GOCA's website hints at the spectrum: "science & ethics, good & evil, literary & film references, campy & deadly serious." Perhaps the most earnest of all offerings, which run through December, is Pikes Peak Community College hosting a "Monster of World Hunger" one-day conference in November.
The Business of Art Center, Manitou Bindu and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center are also involved, hosting discussion groups like "The Land Institute vs. Monsanto" at the BAC and Pamela Joseph: Sideshow of the Absurd at the FAC.
But back at GOCA, where artists will talk about their works at Friday's opening reception, artist and senior instructor Claire Rau approaches "gods and monsters" in terms of fire, destruction and highly organized chaos. Her piece, which from a distance seems like a large pile of shapes, is actually highly detailed furniture and personal belongings cut from plywood. Each section integrates with the others like an M.C. Escher-esque puzzle that signifies the ideas of loss and possession.
Rau says the idea came from what fire victims may go through while evacuating: "How do people choose at that last minute what to get in an emergency?"