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to Jonathan Aseron Jonathan Aseron to Robert Melton Robert Melton

to Sonya Berg Sonya Berg to Teruko Nimura Teruko Nimura

to Michael Coyle Michael Coyle to Joshua Welker Joshua Welker

to Kristina Felix Kristina Felix to Joseph Winchester Joseph Winchester

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Creative Research Lab

AMUSE BOUCHE - July 2008

Amuse-Bouche card

MFA2 opening reception

view press release

Introductory catalog essay by Katie Anania:

Amuse-Bouche, a selection of bite-sized morsels served before a meal at a fine restaurant, implies connoisseurship. When offered an amuse-bouche, we are invited to experience disparate flavors mixing & intensifying & can then build those flavors to create a framework for the meal ahead. Curators who fancy themselves "chefs", however, run the risk of forgetting artistic sovereignty & implicitly linking art with consumption. This is naturally a flawed analogy for an exhibition of contemporary art, where agency is divided between organizers & artists in a careful interlacing of intentions. Despite the potential dangers, we organized Amuse-Bouche in this manner anyway, if only to draw a gentle analogy between visual pleasure & gastric delight & to encourage viewers to exercise their own tastes.

While the exhibition's title is tongue-in-cheek, some artists can be seen to form loose thematic groupings & pairings. Sonya Berg & Joseph Winchester, for example, allow the formal strictures of certain mediums to dictate their output: Berg's vellum rubbings become the structures of future paintings, & Winchester's video installations are often governed by variations in generated pitches & tones. Kristina Felix and Teruko Nimura integrate confessional politics & permeable materials (one figurative, using film, and the other literal, with pantyhose & watercolor) into works that explore the polysemic nature of selfhood, while Robert Melton reorganizes images of nature into filmic pseudo-sculptures. Michael Coyle, Josh Welker & Jonathan Aseron loosen some of the embedded meanings of their materials, venturing an argument that problematizes the view of the Western object after Minimalism. All these artists move beyond the bounds of art as a discipline to explore social & political issues, pointing to further possibilities rather than giving a concrete rubric for the "meal" ahead.

Viewers inside the spaces of Amuse-Bouche encounter flavors sweet & bitter, & sometimes wildly disparate, but always interesting. The eight curators of this exhibition are pleased to call themselves assistant arbiters of these combinations; combinations vetted out by both criticism & practice & placed for your sampling pleasure as an opening onto future works.