Terese Agnew’s ‘Writing in Stone’ Awakens Wisconsin’s Storied Past
“Writing in Stone,” by Terese Agnew and a “small army” of collaborators, is an immersive, multi-media installation of stunning scope. Agnew and crew have spent two years creating 18 monuments dramatically staged so as to lead viewers along a path into the past. The monuments tell tales of figures and events from Wisconsin’s history, such as Caroline Quarlls, the first known individual to reach freedom along Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad.
“Writing in Stone” involves more than merely reading writing on stones. Along the enchanted path, viewers encounter storytellers, actors, sound recordings, speaking trees and other means of making the past present. The installation “grew from a deep awareness that in these times of sweeping change and uncertainty, it’s more essential than ever not to forget the best and most honorable people and ideas of the past,” says Agnew. “The axis of the future spins on what we remember, and what we choose to honor as a culture and community.”
“Writing in Stone” is open to the public at RedLine Milwaukee, 1422 N. Fourth St., from Jan. 20 through March 25.
“Steel: The Cycle of Industry by David Plowden”
1000 N. Broadway
The impact of steel on the modern world cannot be underestimated. As a lighter, cheaper and stronger alternative to iron, steel laid the lines of the railroad and allowed skyscrapers to reach new heights. In David Plowden’s eyes, the steelmaking process itself is worthy of aesthetic contemplation. “Steel: The Cycle of Industry by David Plowden” (Jan. 20-April 30) collects more than 100 photographs taken between 1962 and 1985, which demonstrate, in Plowden’s words, “the architecture of steelmaking is like no other. Nowhere can you find this massiveness, drama, spectacle and danger but in a steel mill.”
“Morphology of Cyclic Phenomena”
207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 222
Vesna Jovanovic does not cry over spilled ink. Instead the Chicago-born, Yugoslavia-bred, Chicago-based artist orients her drawings around an initial dash of spilled ink. The end results would be equally at home in a medical textbook or an art exhibition, as they will be from Jan. 20 through March 3 at Greymatter Gallery. “Morphology of Cyclic Phenomena” depicts various foreign bodies that individuals welcome into their own through elective medical procedures. Jovanovic’s drawings of IUDs, voice prostheses and breast implants are visually engaging meditations on autonomy and integrity embodied.