Granary Arts Notice His American Shirt Rebecca Maksym

Curated by Rebecca Maksym

Tyrone Davies / Christopher Kelly / Marcela Torres / Morganne Wakefield

July 11- October 24, 2014


Notice His American Shirt addresses the legacies of manifest destiny, the 19th century belief that expansion of the United States throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable. Looking to the historic frontier of the American West, this exhibition explores how notions of modernization and westward movement are appropriated and re-envisioned in the contemporary imagination.


Header image: Cathode Comanches, Tyrone Davies

The works presented engage with notions of the West as both a literal place ripe with opportunity and a metaphorical space laden with memories of conquest. Davies and Kelly examine issues of innovation and obsolesce through technological forms of colonization, while Torres and Wakefield focus on the intersection of history and identity and how the complexity of heritage challenges both geographical and cultural borders.

By framing traditional concepts of expansionism through abstract notions of divine destiny, Notice His American Shirt reveals alternative representations of how freedom and progress complicate the division between history and memory, truth and fiction.


About the Curator

Rebecca Maksym is a curator at the UMOCA in Salt Lake City. She completed her M.A. in Art History at the University of Utah and continues her research on Latin American contemporary art, postcolonialism, gender studies, and African diaspora as a way of further investigating how these discourses intersect with broader concepts of cultural production throughout the Americas. Currently Rebecca is coordinating a number of exhibitions, including a series of video works by artists Melik Ohanian, Catherine Yass, Robert Smithson, and Guido van der Werve titled Cultural Cartographies, and a group show titled Bikuben, which frames Utah heritage through the lens of Danish contemporary art. Rebecca is also an adjunct faculty member at Westminster College in the Department of Arts and Sciences where she teaches an introductory survey of art history.


About the Artists

Tyrone Davies / Tyrone Davies is a conceptual artist and a filmmaker. His work explores questions of mediated spectacle and mass culture either through the reuse, re-appropriation, and re-contextualization of recorded material and industrially produced objects, or by producing wholly new material that reconsiders established assumptions about cultural trends. Film, video, photography, installation, collage, sculpture, performance, printmaking, and painting are all disciplines that Davies works within in order to disassemble, and then reconstruct themes, messages and trends that are found within both domestic and global cultures. Davies creates work in San Francisco CA, Salt Lake City UT, and Denver CO.

Christopher Kelly / Through sculpture, video, installation, and performance art, Christopher Kelly explores science fiction tropes as a way to complicate personal versus universal experiences of the human condition. Looking to outer space, alien existence, and the discovery of alternate worlds, Kelly’s work provides a platform for understanding the panhuman desire for seeking out new frontiers and the consequences of isolation and displacement that occurs from these escapist tendencies. Kelly received his B.F.A. from the University of Utah in Intermedia Sculpture and will have his first museum solo show at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art from June 27 through August 16, 2014.

Marcela Torres / Marcela Torres is a sculpture student at the University of Utah.  Her work focuses on history, identity and notions of the colonized body in contemporary times. By creating her own rituals, Torres’ work simultaneously constructs and deconstructs American identity by exploring the gaps between dominance and subaltern, self and other.

In addition to her art making, Torres works at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and currently oversees the Art in the Library Program offered by CUAC Contemporary Art and the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Morganne Wakefield / Morganne Wakefield works with textiles, video, photography and performance to examine the intersection of ideology, geography, and history. Much of her work brings the origins and uses of fabric back into the spaces that challenge it—the landscape. By engaging with territory and space through various forms of textiles, Wakefield reorients concepts of travel and translation by informing how physical, cultural and psychological constructs of survival change or breakdown in an era of geological rupture and technological influx.  Wakefield received her B.F.A. from Brigham Young University and will be starting her M.F.A. at the University of Chicago in the fall of 2014.