Nashville, Tenn. – September 29, 2020 – Contemporary arts center OZ Arts Nashville today announced that its latest group exhibit, Long Distance, will be accessible in-person by appointment and virtually on the OZ Arts website from October 1 - December 21, 2020. The exhibit, curated by Nashville-based artist/curator Pam Marlene Taylor, features work by three Tennesseans: Sibley Barlow, Nuveen Barwari and Duncan McDaniel.
Before Covid-19 sent the country into quarantine, Taylor had already chosen the works featured in Long Distance, all of which took on new meaning in a socially distanced world. With themes ranging from the ways virtual technology connects us to the distance between identity and the body, the exhibit became increasingly relevant after many experienced prolonged periods of separation and isolation in response to the coronavirus.
"This exhibition is very close to my heart. It was created before the global pandemic and now feels especially paramount to discuss during a year where almost every relationship in one's life is long distant,” said Pam Marlene Taylor, curator of Long Distance. “I'm honored to partner with OZ Arts to bring the exhibition to life in a unique space that has brought our community together for many years, and where I look forward to meeting together again in the future."
Among the trio of artists included, Sibley Barlow is a trans artist exploring the time and space of existing inside their body. In 60 Days, Barlow took a daily photo where they cut hair from their head and applied it as facial hair until the end of sixty days where they were left with a shaved head. Using skin and hair as a metaphor for the temporality of human existence, Barlow reveals the long-distance relationship with the self and one's own body. In addition to 60 Days, Barlow has three other works featured in the exhibit, which draw on queer iconography and interpretations of a body in transition.
Nuveen Barwari is a Kurdish American artist exploring her dual existence in both Kurdistan and America. Being born in the U.S. and spending her adolescence in Kurdistan, Barwari calls attention to the long-distance relationship with her own culture as a member of a stateless community. Using multiple media in the seven works featured in the exhibit, Barwari aims to spark social commentary about migration, the struggles of refugee resettlement, transnational negotiations of self and managing Islamophobia.
Duncan McDaniel’s innovative sculptural work Across the Clouds investigates modern communication and the ability to have maintained a relationship with his now-wife via video chat when they were separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Crossing the idea of a tin can telephone, where two cans are attached to either end of a taut string, and “The Cloud,” where so much digital communication takes place, McDaniel’s dreamy lit sculptures illuminate a long distance relationship which could never have taken place before this advanced technology.
"We are honored to feature such a diverse group of Tennessee-based artists in this exhibit exploring the ways we can connect across barriers, geographies and identities,” said Mark Murphy, Executive and Artistic Director at OZ Arts. “It's exciting to give local audiences the opportunity to experience this artwork in-person or virtually before sharing it with our longtime partners at 21c Museum Hotel Nashville in 2021."
The exhibit will also feature virtual elements. Visitors can view the photographed pieces and a video tour of the full exhibit on the OZ Arts website and across its social media channels beginning October 1. “Long Distance” will also be included in the October 3, 2020 Virtual Art Crawl hosted by the Nashville Gallery Association. In-person appointments to view the work can be scheduled by emailing Artistic Associate Daniel Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About OZ Arts Nashville
Founded in 2013, OZ Arts Nashville has quickly established itself as one of the Southeast's most influential and respected producers and presenters focused on the creation and presentation of significant performing and visual art works by diverse cultural visionaries who are making vital contributions to the evolution of contemporary culture. Through performances, exhibitions, and community events, OZ Arts focuses on producing and presenting the work of local and visiting artists who reflect our diverse society, utilize new artistic forms and technology in creative ways, and provide opportunities for meaningful engagement with audiences, students and cultural and civic leaders. OZ Arts' unique creative warehouse has developed a reputation as a major national and regional laboratory for experimentation and a home for contemporary dance and performance. More than 50,000 audience members have been introduced to adventurous artists from around the world since the organization opened, and hundreds of local and regional artists have used OZ’s 10,000 square-foot warehouse theater to develop new works.
About Pam Marlene Taylor
Pam Marlene Taylor is an artist and curator living in Nashville, TN. As a curator, she focuses on group exhibitions featuring mainly women and non-binary artists in conversation with current social and feminist issues. In 2020, she partnered with fellow curator Kaylan Buteyn to co-found Stay Home Gallery, an online gallery featuring work by womxn artists from around the world creating during the global Coronavirus Pandemic. Stay Home Gallery grew to become a brick and mortar contemporary art house gallery and artist residency for womxn and families where Pam is now the Gallery & Residency Director. As an artist, Pam weaves on hand-built looms and explores feminism, change, and death through fiber art. She is represented in the state of Tennessee by The Red Arrow Gallery and is a graduate from Tusculum University where she double majored in Studio Art and Graphic Design and is currently earning her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of West Alabama with plans to become an end of life counselor.
About Sibley Barlow
Sibley Barlow explores ideas surrounding time, identity, labor, and repetition, particularly as they relate to the body, as well as intersections between civilizations and the natural environment. Their work privileges process and seeks to consolidate performance with the object. She works across mediums and crafts, grouping work as widely varied individual projects. He works primarily in painting, drawing, performance, and installation. Barlow was born in Atlanta, Georgia and received her BFA from Ball State University.
About Nuveen Barwari
Nuveen Barwari is a Kurdish American multidisciplinary artist. Barwari’s art is influenced by her family histories, being born in the US in 1995, and spending her adolescent years in Duhok, Kurdistan. She completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Studio Art from Tennessee State University in 2019 and is a 2022 MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Bringing together the fragmented state of diasporic living and membership in a stateless community, Barwari utilizes painting, photography, screen printing, mixed media, and installations to spark social commentary about migration, the struggles of refugee resettlement, transnational negotiations of self, and the Kurdish cause. She lives in Nashville and is represented by the Red Arrow Gallery.
About Duncan McDaniel
Duncan McDaniel is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice combines light, color, found objects and traditional art-making techniques to facilitate fine art in the commercial gallery setting as well as art in the public realm. Highlighting the connection between man and nature, McDaniel uses bright colors that reflect shapes and patterns that are nestled harmoniously in between the natural, manmade, and unseeable worlds. Holding an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he has exhibited work in public places and galleries nationally. He is represented by the Red Arrow Gallery.