Saturday, April 27, 2013

MILWAUKEE: Nathaniel Donnett

Nathaniel Donnett, No White Tees, 2013. Image courtesy of the artist.

You Are The One
April 19 – June 29, 2013

1422 North 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI

Nathaniel Donnett says, “You Are The One is a multi-media exhibition that consists of drawings, sculpture, video, collage paintings, installation and community participation which delves into my social and psychological concerns about society. I use the clothing store as a departure point and motif, transforming some of its recognizable items and familiar structures into art pieces that raise questions about identity, consumption, perception, human interaction and society.

In societal information transactions, particularly in the media, a “type” usually pops up on television. One that I usually see is the one black person in television, unless it’s an all-black show. There may be a small group of blacks within a larger group but that symbolism still exists. This experience happens in art functions as well.  This brought a bigger question about not only my identity type but what about other “types” that encounter being the only one in a particular setting, background or ideology? Who is the one individually and is there a one created collectively? Are you the one who has set the situation, environment, position up or the one who is affected as a result of a situation, environment or position or both? These are some of the questions I’m interested in. I don’t know all of the answers but find it interesting to look at some of the questions and pose them to the viewer.

Another component that I am interested in is the community and participation. Some people donated clothing, the youth groups collaborated the artist to create work that revolved around the show and is exhibited within the show. A video collage of an interview of three generations was created about identity, alienation, otherness, history and the current state of our society. I find that the respectable exchange is an interesting way to learn about other people’s positions in life, differences and things we have in common. I took this approach, as visitor to be a part of this community as much as time and space would allow.”

With generous support from the NEA, the Milwaukee Arts Board, and the Wisconsin Arts Board (with funds from the State of Wisconsin), RedLine welcomed Houston-based Nathaniel Donnett onsite for a 30-day visiting artist residency which began March 30.  While at RedLine, Nathaniel produced a body of work for his exhibition, working with RedLine resident artists and teens, and interacting with the community and Milwaukee school programs.

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