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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

UMOCA Presents Jason Metcalf: ABRACADABRA

UMOCA Presents Jason Metcalf: ABRACADABRA
Sept. 7-Dec. 21, 2012

Salt Lake City – The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce a new exhibition in the Locals Only Gallery, ABRACADABRA by Salt Lake City artist Jason Metcalf. The Locals Only Gallery is one manifestation of UMOCA’s commitment to the local art community, ensuring that Utah artists have a presence at the museum at all times. 

Knock on wood. Grab the lucky penny. Don’t cross the black cat’s path. Beware the number 13. Drive a rusty nail through a lime to avoid the evil eye.

Superstition is one of the most uniting forces across cultures. Whether conscious or unconscious, with zeal, skepticism, or denial; our behaviors, daily rhythms, architecture, and design are determined by superstitions both arcane and contemporary.

For ABRACADABRA, Metcalf has painstakingly researched, re-enacted and refreshed languages of superstition long forgotten from day-to-day vernacular. Entities, obsessions, legends, and lore from various cultures—as far away as Haiti and as close as the Sanpete Valley—provide the sculptural and performative language displayed in his solo exhibition.

“The interesting thing about superstition, I have found, is that a belief can vary from person to person even if two individuals are close in cultural, religious and geographical proximity,” said Metcalf. 

Many of the artworks on view are sourced from verbal descriptions passed down from generations, and now find themselves physically manifested at the museum. In the process, Metcalf’s work not only reflects an existing culture of belief, but also reinforces those legends for UMOCA visitors. Nevertheless, Metcalf refers to his works as "forgeries" because they are not born from the original intent or belief, and instead function as visual replacements. The objects and the aura they project beg the questions of inherent occult properties. Is it possible to realize an archive of superstition without fearing its total magic?

“Metcalf gives us objects that stand between the mind’s eye and lore, which playfully prod the tales of old wives or the Doubting Thomas ,” said senior curator Aaron Moulton. 

Join us for the opening reception during First Friday, Sept. 7, 8-10 PM. DJ Flash & Flare will spin tunes, and there will be food and a cash bar. The event is free and open to the public.

Thank you to our generous sponsor for September’s First Friday: J. Jill.

The award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Five gallery spaces provide an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations.

Founded in 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been recognized as Best Museum in the State of Utah for 2011 and 2012 and is a four-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Located at 20 S. West Temple; open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information call  (801) 328-4201 or visit www.utahmoca.org.

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