Sunday, June 07, 2009

Twist in The Tennessean

Artist Erika Johnson says farewell to Nashville
June 7, 2009

The bad news is that Erika Johnson, whose installation Curtain was so well received last summer, is leaving Nashville. The good news is she's leaving us with a farewell show. And she plans to come back.

Johnson's new exhibit, accumulata/ dematerialization, has opened at Twist 58. "It's an interactive installation and performance about our relationships with material objects," Johnson says. Gallery visitors are encouraged to take part in an ongoing video project about the installation.

The show's subtitle, "what happens when objects are let go," underscores the theme of working with discarded items as a metaphor for our society's recession — and prompts an ecologically driven reassessment of our habits of accumulating and tossing aside possessions.

A complete list of the "found, made and rescued" objects Johnson incorporates would fill this entire space, so here's a sampling: fishing tackle, swatches, glass bottles, skin, dead bugs, magazines, cyanotypes, billiard balls, etc.

"While I hope and believe this piece addresses questions of general interest in these strange times, it is also a very personal parting gift to Nashville and to the beloved community I have found here," Johnson says.

Johnson will head to Pittsburgh in July but is already planning a spring show in Nashville involving the two cities.

Her installation remains on view at Twist 58 in the Arcade through June 27. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; the performance "dematerialization" may be seen by appointment. For information, call 1-888-535-5286 or go to www.twistartgallery.