Student curatorial collective Polykhroma’s last show for the semester, “Utopia/Dystopia,” diverges from their usual gallery-like showing of works. Artists were encouraged to submit plans for an immersive installation space, as opposed to individual paintings, sculptures, films, photographs and works of other various mediums. The cumulative effect is the creation of a space that narrows the gap between viewers and art.
Ella Huzenis, a member of Polykhroma, explained that the show is a departure from the traditional white box gallery model.
“Given that our first two exhibitions took place at 59 Ossipee, we thought site-specific works would be a great tribute to the space itself and the experiences that Polykhroma, the artists we’ve exhibited and those who have attended our shows have had together there,” Huzenis told the Daily in an email.
The show displays the works of Montana Gulbrand and Sam Malabre, MFA candidate Katie Lee Haley, BFA candidate Çağıl Harmandar, senior Parker Heyl, senior Cecily Lo, Andrei Okolokoulak and Katrine Tsoris. The show promises to display an interesting relationship between individual works within the installation and the various effects different kinds of work create.
Lo’s work, K A F K A // E $ Q U €, addresses the show’s theme while seeming to pose questions about the unconscious and how it influences, and can sometimes even disrupt, our everyday lives.
“[My work] explores the dichotomy of discarded opulence, a once utopic universe mangled by time, unsightly decay and ultimately what society deems indecent for further consumption,” Lo explained.
According to Huzenis, the title of the show, “Utopia/Dystopia,” came out of the brainstorming for Polykhroma’s previous show, “Borders.”
“[The show] was initially inspired by the divisive nature of the political climate in the world right now, but as we started to brainstorm what ‘borders’ meant to us, we became interested in exploring the origins of borders in general … and their personal implications, how perceived divisions and differences shape our individual points of view and identities,” Huzenis said.
Huzenis added that Polykhroma’s final show promised to be an inimitable experience.
“[It’s going to] interrogate the distinction between ‘utopia’ and ‘dystopia’ in unique ways, and we encourage those who come to consider the meanings of and relationships between these concepts as well.”
Under a political administration that to some has felt dystopian since election day, maybe art can function as a vehicle to not only release the pressures of a dystopian society, but also as a way to understand why certain things are included in utopias and dystopias. For example, “Utopia” (1516), by Thomas More, originally sought to exemplify how the author’s homeland, England, was not the perfect place it pretended to be. More understood that by looking at what people consider a perfect society, or the absolute opposite, sheds a light not only on the times people are living in, but also exposes their values in the form of something larger than themselves.
“Utopia/Dystopia” will be on view at 59 Ossipee Rd. on Thurs., April 20, from 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.