The fourth iteration of the Great Rivers Biennial opened Friday night, April 30. The Biennial is a collaboration between the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the Gateway Foundation designed to strengthen the local art scene in St. Louis. This innovative program identifies talented emerging local artists and mid-career artists whose work explores new directions, and provides them with financial support as well as local and national visibility.
This year’s Great Rivers Biennial 2010 artists, Martin Brief, Sarah Frost, and Cameron Fuller, each received $20,000 to help support their practice, in addition to the opportunity to mount an exhibition in the Contemporary’s Main Galleries. The Great Rivers Biennial is one of the most widely anticipated exhibitions presented by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. The energy it has generated has galvanized the arts community in St. Louis, contributing to an enhanced quality of life for St. Louis area residents.
This year’s exhibition includes the following:
Martin Brief’s suite of twenty-eight new drawings, collectively titled Amazon God, appear at first glance to be seismographic in nature, the recording of tectonic shifts. In fact, they meticulously inventory the results of a search for “God” on Amazon.com. Brief records the thousands of book titles his search unearthed on scroll-like sheets of paper with a Rapidograph pen.
Sarah Frost’s installation, Arsenal, had its beginnings on the internet, too, though YouTube provided the impetus. Frost found there a community of young boys who self-publish instructional videos for making elaborate paper guns. Guided by the boys’ videos, Frost fashioned a paper cloud of weaponry suspended from the gallery ceiling, which shares the space with YouTube stills.
Cameron Fuller’s The Institute for the Perpetuation of Imaginal Processes reveals his interests in folk art, Native American artifacts, and the natural history museum. Upon entering his “museum within a museum,” you’ll encounter As It Is, a life-size diorama, and then, in adjoining rooms, Remembering Washington, The Guidance of Disaster, and Where My Heart Will Lead Me, an allusion to the itinerant tinker.
The Great Rivers Biennial 2010 runs through August 8. For more information, visit www.camst.org.