By: Missy Finnegan – Staff Writer
Internal struggles and personal stress escape through either physical or emotional release. Some people bite their nails or go for a long run, while others treat themselves to a Netflix binge.
RELEASE, the most recent ArtStreet White Box Gallery installation, calls us to ponder how we overcome mental obstacles in our daily lives. It presents the question, “What is holding us back?”
Many of the objects and materials in the installation are recognizable and commonly used for housing construction. However, they are repurposed to depict something much deeper, asking for a new perspective to be developed. This gives viewers time to reflect on how these materials are a representation of human minds.
Upon entering RELEASE, viewers immediately notice white model fingers and asphalt throughout the installation. According to the creative lead, Tyler Hamilton, “The asphalt patch isn’t used to fill potholes, it forms obstacles used to created paths through the installation. The hands and fingers are placed in specific scenarios that show their strength.”
For Hamilton specifically, he releases stress and tension through cracking his knuckles. He encourages interaction by inviting viewers to crack his knuckles, physically breaking a finger away from the panel in the installation. This symbolizes any mental obstacles that possibly hold them back from enjoying life.
Hamilton often uses materials that are not correlated to their intended purposes and are meant to be thought provoking mechanisms to represent obstacles to achieve some sort of release in order to feel better. Hamilton received his BFA from West Virginia University and his MFA from the University of Cincinnati. He described his work as “a combination of the unnoticed and unexpected.”
RELEASE is the third installation in the QUEST series. QUEST seeks to create solutions to the problems facing our generation, which directly relates to the obstacle of discovering and accepting one’s self.
The first installation in QUEST was SENSATIONALIZE, which prompted questions such as, “Are we good people? How do we value life? Do I know myself?” Kate Tepe was the Creative Lead and it ran from September 6 through September 27. The second installation was CONTROL, which asked whether control is beneficial or not. Todd Richman was the Creative Lead and it ran from October 4 through October 25.
RELEASE can be viewed in the White Box Gallery between 8 a.m. and midnight Monday-Friday, and from noon until midnight on Saturday and Sunday. The White Box Gallery is located within the ArtStreet facility on the 300 block of Kiefaber Street. It is closed during holiday breaks.