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Exhibition Calendar

Free Association: SIUE's Response to Melissa Stern's The Talking Cure

Opening reception June 1st, 6-9 PM

On display June 1st-July 14th, 2018, FREE ASSOCIATION is an exhibit created by the students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the MFA and BFA programs. This exhibit is specifically in response to Melissa Stern’s, The Talking Cure, which was on view in the KAC Gallery from 1/19/18 through 5/19/18. Her exhibition centered on works that suggest a story to the viewer and she invited collaborations in a variety of art forms. We have used this model in our exhibit as well and are welcoming responses and participation by encouraging attendees to freely associate their own meanings to the works and share their interpretations.

The use of free association through words and images allows the mind to spontaneously respond to verbal or visual prompts. This enables the subconscious mind to speak in an active form rather than only through dreams. The dream state has intrigued artists since the early 20th century. Dada and Surrealists artists defied restrictions of the rational mind and allowed the subconscious to surface and to communicate what the conscious mind might otherwise suppress, edit and censor. Authors, writers, and musicians have all derived inspiration from exercising free association as well including Midwest poet and jazz aficionado, Ted Jones.

Freely expressed creativity from the unconscious mind can be more powerful than conscious thought. Today, images from the imagination and unconscious are considered just as legitimate as literal imagery and we cannot imagine a world without this form of self-expression.

Automatism, free association, and the use of the Exquisite Corpse exercise are all creative devices artists can use to liberate creative thinking and examinations of their methods.

The Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative drawing approach first used by surrealist artists to create incongruous and intuitive drawings. An Exquisite Corpse may be visual, oral, or written.

There are three ways for viewers to participate. Everyone is encouraged to do one or all three of the following:
1. Chronicle thoughts to the tape recorder in the gallery.
2. Contribute to a free association poem by adding to list of words. Please respond to the first word that comes to mind upon reading the previous word on the list.
3. Add to a continuous Exquisite Corpse craft paper drawing.

These collaborative efforts will be revealed on the final day of the exhibition.

The artists who contributed to this exhibit are: Samantha Hunerlach, Sarah Bohn, Jessica Lynn Hunt, Joseph Ovalle, Benjamin Carey, Sutton Allen, Katie Donovan, Alassan Sow, Alex Bailey, Annie Darlin, Alex Jacobs, Jessee Rose Crane, Derek Patterson, & Vincent Stemmler.


Gallery Hours:
Monday 12pm-5pm 
Friday 11am-9pm 
Tuesday 12pm-5pm 
Saturday 10am-5pm 
Wednesday 11am-6pm 
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Thursday 11am-6pm
Open during many events outside of above hours