Mark Alice Durant: The Battle of Evermore
Yellow/Ear/Tree/Shout, 1998, Acrylic airbrush, charcoal and gelatin silver print on paper, 21 x 55 inches, collection of the artist
Mark Alice Durant: The Battle of Evermore, an exhibition featuring the work of Syracuse University professor Mark Alice Durant, will open at the Everson Museum of Art with a preview party on Friday, March 5, 1999 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The event, which is open to the public, is free for Everson members and $10 for non-members (which may be applied to an Everson membership if purchased that evening). The exhibition is curated by Everson Senior Curator Thomas Piche and will remain on view through May 2, 1999. Durant will conduct a gallery talk about the exhibition on Tuesday, March 9 at 12:00 noon at the museum. On this afternoon he will also organize an unannounced group performance, Hello/Goodbye, on the streets of downtown Syracuse.
A photographer, installation artist, performance artist, writer, and critic, Mark Alice Durant was offered this solo exhibition as a result of his taking the best of show award at the 1998 Everson Biennial. Durant will show recent two-dimensional compositions that involve collage, airbrush painting, drawing and photography. In this work, Durant investigates the nature and function of beliefs through an examination of symbols, narrative, and history. His work points to our need for meaning even as it creates riddles. If, as Wallace Stevens asserts, "poetry is the sum of its attributes," Durant's most recent artwork, characterized by spare compositions of photographed and drawn images, suggests a visual haiku - a pared-down lyricism that involves the viewer as an active participant in the creation of meaning.
"Image/site/gesture/text are all fundamental to my attempt in finding lyrical form for the issues that I have been concerned with for years; that of faith, the human will to believe, the iconography of belief systems, the cultural context of ideology, and historical pastiche," says Durant. "I become swept up in the will to believe, the constructed narrative,and the images that are used to reinforce or contradict belief systems. In this way, I approach the photograph, the image, the trace, the emanation, as a Doubting Thomas might, desiring conversion while remaining fiercely attached to skepticism."
Durant holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and a master of fine arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. Since 1985 he has participated in nearly 70 exhibitions, presented 40 performances, and published over 50 articles and essays. He has served on the faculties of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, UCLA, and University of New Mexico and is presently assistant professor in the Department of Art Media Studies at Syracuse University. Durant's work has been presented internationally, including shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Artist's Space in New York City, and the DeBeyerd Museum in the Netherlands. In 1991 he co-founded the performance duo "men of the world," which has performed unannounced public gestures on the streets of major American cities including Chicago, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, among others. Durant's essays on the nexus of photography, performance, and cultural phenomena have been widely published, including his recent publication McDermott and McGough: A History of Photography (Arena Editions).
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This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.
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