MIA Inside/Out: Battle of Everyouth

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“MIA Inside/Out: Battle of Everyouth”
Saturday, June 4

Minneapolis, MN, April 7, 2011—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) joins the Northern Spark Festival, a citywide all-night arts celebration, with a dramatic outdoor projection on its neoclassical 24th Street façade. The MIA’s installation, “MIA Inside/Out: Battle of Everyouth” is the museum’s new commission and residency for the Iranian-American experimental artist Ali Momeni and his collaborator, Minneapolis-based artist Jenny Schmid. On view from 10 p.m. until midnight on Saturday, June 4, the installation is made possible by a Joyce Award the MIA received last year in support of its new commitment to contemporary art and artists, and a grant from the Friends of the Institute, with additional support from Northern Spark, produced by Northern Lights. Complementing “MIA Inside/ Out,” is “Collateral Damage: Scenes from a War,” a compelling exhibition that explores the tragic consequences of war and violence through the eyes of graphic artists for over three centuries.

For “MIA Inside/Out,” Momeni and Schmid worked closely with a team of 90 ninth-graders from Washburn High School for months to create an interactive projection performance as a vehicle to animate timely and relevant issues, including what happens to youth in a culture enmeshed in violence and war. A blend of cinema, participatory theater, animation, and live performance, the project aims to create a context for exploring the subject of global youth and violence.

Momeni is an assistant professor in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, and co-director of the Northern Spark Festival. He has exhibited collaborative art installations in Paris, Madrid, and Tokyo. Recently he projected images from the MIA’s exhibition “The Mourners” inside the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, with performances by the Rose Ensemble choral group in conjunction with the exhibition.

Schmid is an associate professor of printmaking at the University of Minnesota. She has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright to study in Bratislava, Slovakia. Recent exhibitions were held in Arizona and California. Schmid and Momeni’s collaborative animation was recently included in Philagrafika in Philadelphia.

For centuries, artists of various nationalities and points of view have addressed the difficult subject of war, creating distinctive expressions ranging from virulent anti-war sentiments to frank eyewitness accounts, to personal reflections on loss and grief. Drawn primarily from the museum’s extensive collection of graphic art, the 35 works on display in “Collatoral Damage: Scenes from a War,” on view from April 2 through July 24, include some of the most compelling representations of war and violence ever created. From Francisco Goya’s renowned Disasters of War etching to Otto Dix’s infamous Der Krieg (War) portfolio to Daniel Heyman’s powerful portraits of tortured Iraqi war prisoners, the selection shines a bright light on the ravages of war and violence as seen through the eyes and minds of artists. Anchoring the installation is a provocative sculpture by contemporary artists Dinos and Jake Chapman that brings the impact of war on children into dynamic focus. Also featured in the show are important graphic works by Honoré Daumier, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Beckmann, George Bellows, Pablo Picasso, Jacob Lawrence, and David Rathman. These images and others were included in the Washburn High School curriculum project.

About Northern Sparks
Northern Sparks is a new Minnesota festival modeled on the European “nuit blanche” (white night)—a dusk-to-dawn participatory art event along the Mississippi River and surrounding areas. For one night only, from sunset on June 4 (8:55 p.m.) until sunrise June 5, 2011 (5:28 a.m.), more than 150 regional and national artists, together with the Twin Cities’ arts community, will display new art installations at public places, galleries, and unexpected locations throughout the city.

About the Joyce Foundation Awards
Since their inception in 2003, the Joyce Awards have supported cultural institutions in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Award winners have not only presented their works to the institutions’ traditional audiences, but also worked with community groups, schoolchildren, and public art projects. Funded by the Joyce Foundation of Chicago, the Joyce Awards support projects that enhance the creative environment, expand the repertoire of art that speaks to diverse urban audiences, and enable Midwest cultural institutions to commission new works by artists of color.

Press Contacts: Anne-Marie Wagener, Director of P.R.
(612) 870-3280; awagener@artsmia.org

Tammy Pleshek, P.R. Specialist
(612) 870-3171; tpleshek@artsmia.org