July 7, 2022—The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay is set to unveil Landscape of Absence by Brandon Bauer on July 16, 2022, an exhibition exploring the ethical issues of terrorist propaganda imagery in the media. The public is invited to attend an opening reception and meet the artist on Saturday, July 16 from 5 – 6:30pm. The reception is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served. The exhibition will be on display through Monday, September 12, 2022.
Landscapes of Absence examines the use of propaganda images in the absence of reliable and journalistically objective images from the territory controlled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State at a time when the brutal beheadings of Western journalists and aid workers made it too dangerous to report from areas under terrorist control.
Bauer has used images drawn from eight beheading incidents disseminated through terrorist media outlets; the work erases the dehumanized image, leaving only the landscape and the absence of image as a metaphor for the larger issue of the absence of reliable reporting.
“The exhibit while specific to incidents of terrorist violence and propaganda, easily extends into other ethical issues surrounding journalism at a time when similar tactics are being used in current war zones and when press are under a great deal of scrutiny,” says Curator Helen del Guidice “It also invites us to consider how the landscape or setting where, a violent act is committed, can impact the experience and understanding of that violence.”
Brandon Bauer is an Associate Professor of Art at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. A multidisciplinary artist, he uses art as a space for ethical inquiry exploring issues relating to nuclear abolition, terrorism, and the climate crisis by examining narratives embedded in archival material, the media, and other cultural ephemera. His work utilizes photography, video, digital graphics, and installation. Bauer completed his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1996, his MA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, and his MFA in Intermedia from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010.
His work has been exhibited and screened internationally including at the Aces(s) electronic media festival, Pau, France; the European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck, Germany; and the Carnival of e-Creativity, Shillong, India. He has been published in journals such as Media-N, Hz, and Arts & International Affairs. His work can be found in several collections including the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (Los Angeles) and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago).
In conjunction with Landscapes of Absence on the second floor Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine, the museum presents No Interference: Landscapes from the Permanent Collection.
The exhibit will feature 20 works, comprised of paintings, prints, and photography, from various artists that, depicts landscapes void of human interference: No roads, paths, cabins or other man-made structures, just the landscape in its natural state.
“The museum’s collection features over 600 examples of artworks in the genre of landscape, but only a few dozen of them exhibit no interference, or no trace of man’s presence or cultivation,” says del Guidice. “Experiencing an untouched landscape, if such a thing exists, can inspire a great variety of powerful emotional responses including awe, fear or a deep sense of peace and connectedness. In unison with Bauer’s Landscapes of Absence that serve as non-consensual sites of horrific violence, No Interference offers an opportunity to examine our emotional responses and spiritual connections to nature untouched by mankind.”
The exhibition will be on display at the Miller Art Museum through September 12, 2022.
Landscapes of Absence is presented in partnership with financial support from Dennis and Bonnie Connolly, Camilla Nielsen and the Townsend Foundation. Additional support has been provided, in part, by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
SCHEDULE OF PROGRAMMING:
- Member Preview with the Curator: Friday, July 15 from 4 - 5pm.
The event is open to museum members and active volunteers only. Visit https://bit.ly/3nZYAH3 to find more information on becoming a museum member.
- The Studio Door with Brandon Bauer: Thursday, July 21 from 10:30 -11:30am
The event takes place at the Miller Art Museum at 107 S. 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay and is free and open to the public.
- Opening Reception with Artist Brandon Bauer: Saturday, July 16 from 5 - 6:30pm.
The event is free and open to the public.
- Landscape Fragments: July 25 - August 1 and August 20 - August 27, 2022
A program of moving image works by Brandon Bauer exploring concepts of the landscape. On view on Sturgeon Bay Public Access Channel 987 Monday, July 25 - Monday, August 1, 2022 and again from Saturday, August 20 - Saturday, August 27, 2022.
- A Day Under the City: Thursday, August 25 at 5pm
Film screening and artist talk with Brandon Bauer, Thursday, August 25. Doors open at 5pm; program begins at 5:30pm. The event takes place at the Miller Art Museum at 107 S. 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay and is free and open to the public.