Mullet: An Interview with Curators Brennen Perry and Anna Tregurtha

art, featured artist

By Jessica Frenzel

Photos by MJ Minutoli

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photo by Alyssa Michener

Mullet, an exhibition of multimedia artwork curated by seniors Anna Tregurtha (Kinetic Imaging) and Brennen Perry (Painting and Printmaking), is truly a business up front and a party in the back!

The two crafted a body of work from students and artists working in media ranging from performance, painting, textiles, installation, as well as many forms of digital art. The show is an answer to the contemporary dilemma: how can a gallery exhibit both physical and digital work successfully? What does that look like? For Brennen and Anna, it looks like a mullet.

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Physical and digital art, while existing in disparate forms, contain the same conceptual, contextual, and theoretical underpinnings of fine art. Physical work is the business of the art world, more widely exhibited in the gallery world and considered a profitable commodity. Digital work is the party, encouraging audiences to play and experiment.” -Artists Statement

Mullet held it’s opening reception on November 4th at the Anderson Gallery, which is where the show will be on view until December 11th.  

We got the chance to ask the duo a few questions regarding their exhibition and the experience of it…

What kind of work do you do? How would you describe your personal practice and your practice as a team?

Brennen: Personally, my practice revolves around painting and screen printing. With Anna, our practice is focused on multimedia installation.

Anna: I make video and sound art, as well as installations. My personal practice used to be purely digital, but I’ve moved more towards installation-based projection work and sound that is made specifically for spaces. This works really well when Brennen and I produce stuff together– it makes the integration of his paintings/sculptures and my videos and sounds go easily.

How did you arrive at the concept of “Mullet”?

Brennen: We were throwing out ideas when Anna just said the word “mullet,” and we started thinking about the idea of a conceptual mullet, both the concept of “business in the front, party in the back,” but also as a blending of different ideas within one form. We both talk a lot about how art is shown in gallery spaces, particularly digital and non-traditional work being underrepresented. We knew we wanted to put together a show about affirming digital practices as worthy of time and dedication from galleries, so we began exploring the idea that digital was the “party” and “business” was traditional, physical work like paintings and sculptures. Like a mullet, the show was a blending of styles in one form.

How was the experience of curation?

Brennen: This was my first time curating, though Anna has done it before. A lot of our difficulties came from the fact that the gallery didn’t have standardized equipment for showing digital work, which basically proved our thesis. A lot of the work we did was about organizing and cataloguing all the tech that was available. Additionally, we’re the first show in the newly reopened Anderson Gallery, so we and the gallery assistants had to get it back into working condition again. Also the Anderson gallery is haunted and I saw three ghosts while installing.

Anna: Curation is super hard work, but one of the most rewarding things ever. I’m not going to pretend like installing digital work is always easy, but once everything was up the space started feeling super alive (and I’m not just saying that because we think the gallery is haunted). I think that an artistic space that involves digital/kinetic art is so dynamic, and allows the viewers to move through the space in a different way than they would otherwise.

Got anything planned for the future? 

Anna: We are always planning new things! But we have to keep them a secret.

Mullet will be open to the public until December 11th. The gallery will be holding a closing reception Friday, December 2nd, from 5PM – 8PM at The Anderson Gallery (907 ½ W Franklin Street, Richmond VA) with several live performances. You can check out the event on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/346581002386854/

 


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