October 4, 2023
Southern Voices/Global Visions Opens in Lake City, SC
Totems for My Sisters (We Are Illuminous!) by Vickie Pierre, currently on display in Crossroads Gallery in Lake City, SC as part of Southern Voices/Global Visions.
30,000 square feet of exhibition space
1 immersive art experience
What does it mean to be a Southern artist? In this globalized, interconnected world, does it even make sense to think in terms of regions and origins? Southern Voices/Global Visions suggests that we view artists and their locales through multiple lenses. There is, on one hand, the mythical South described by William Faulkner as a “make believe region of swords, magnolias and mockingbirds.” And on the other hand, a South shaped by the tensions between an unsettled past and a present reality that encompasses the profound changes wrought by urbanization, technological innovation, globalism and climate change. There are artists who are native to the South and artists who have settled here from all parts of the country and the globe. There are artists who seek universality within the particulars of the Southern experience and artists who bring currents from the larger world into a Southern context. The artists in this exhibition give voice to all these complexities. Whatever their origin, all currently reside or have resided in the South. Together they represent 13 Southern states. They also represent myriad states of mind.
The exhibition has been organized to bring out several themes. “Global Views of Home” presents a vision of the South that acknowledges the porous nature of borders and the hybrid quality of contemporary identity. Artists who are Southern by birth join artists who are Southern by choice to reflect on the many ways that one can make a home in the world.
“Mythically Speaking: Southern Past” exemplifies the truth of Faulkner’s famous remark that “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.“ This section of the exhibition presents the work of artists who delve into various aspects of Southern history as a way to understand our complicated present.
“Sounding Off: Southern Present” brings together artists who explore the social, cultural, and political realities that together create the contemporary South. They remind us that this is a region that is unique and distinctive but is also an integral part of the world around it.
In “Points of Intersection,” artists present immersive installations that encourage the audience to engage with other disciplines and fields of study. Moving from STEM to STEAM, some of these installations reveal how art can articulate and reinvent concepts from the vital disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Other areas of intersection are multidisciplinary in nature showing how visual arts may incorporate elements of literary, performance and other fields of interest.
Identity is often thought of as a mask that we present to the world or a cage that defines how the world perceives us. When perceived this way, the categories of identity – among them race, gender, age and ethnicity – can be very reductive. The artists in “Digging Deeper: Personal Identity” suggest other more expansive ways to think about identity. Digging into their personal histories, dreams, traumas and desires, they explore how a sense of self is the product of the interactions between private realities and the demands of the given world.
The artists in this exhibition present a rounded portrait of the South that both acknowledges its unique qualities and reveals the way it overflows its geographic boundaries to touch all facets of contemporary life.
Written by Co-Curator Eleanor Heartney.