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Business as Usual: The Same Old Song and Plants

PAPR Merit Studio, VCU Richmond

Faculty leader

Ruth Bolduan, Professor

Student participants

Greg Pavek, Joshua Taylor, Lauren Gordon, Sam Erler, Tara German, Lucia Liu, Alexx Valencia, Kelsie Conley, Theresa Ramirez, Molly Roberts, Kat Lyons, Zach Stahl

This project for conceived as a "mockumentary," in which twelve students contribute videos, live performances, and works of art based on individual and collaborative activities in the Painting + Printmaking Department’s Merit Studio. Interacting together in one large 24-hour access studio, students maintained a level of controlled chaos that mirrored the purposeful playfulness—3ajeeb!—at the heart of art-making.

The project had two parts. The first was an installation of a large, loosely hanging, translucent windowed tent made of plastic sheeting, as the focal point for student works relating to the theme “Business as Usual: The Same Old Song and Plants.” The theme toyed with the idea that artistic practice is “usual” and reflected its quirky, unpredictable nature through a mix of video projections, music, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and live plants. Areas of art research included social practice, gender studies, identities, traditional aesthetics, art history, and collaborative work. The second part of the project was a video, which documented each student’s contribution to the theme. Students invited to Doha will erect the tent and place interactive art within, projected on, and around it, inviting viewers to join them in mock-heroic or surprising manipulations of a variety of artistic practices. The goal of the project is to evoke the dual spirits of playfulness and transcendence, which form the broad parameters within which art is made.