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Open Engagement

Aphrodite Désirée Navab, I am Not a Persian Carpet #2, 2001, gelatin silver print, 16” x 20”. Gift of the artist.

Aphrodite Désirée Navab, I am Not a Persian Carpet #2, 2001, gelatin silver print, 16” x 20”. Gift of the artist.

Harn Museum of Art - Gainesville

By Jenifer Mangione-Vogt

“Open Engagement” presents 25 international artists who explore, re-create and imagine the nuances of love and war across time and place. Here, “engagement” refers to human relationships. Therefore, the term can be sweetly personal and intimate or adversarial and confrontational, as when used in the language of war. The diversity in the artists’ ages and ethnicity, as well as in medium and subject matter, illustrates the universality of the “open engagement” theme and makes this an interesting, nuanced and thoughtful exhibit.

In a series of prints, La Saga de Sandino, Nicaraguan artist Armando Morales imagines the days just prior to the assassination of the legendary revolutionary leader Augusto C. Sandino, a war hero from the 1930s who inspired the Sandinista movement of the 1970s. Scottish artist Christine Borland suggests a long history of love and affection with a stack of hand-crafted and formerly cherished blankets in A Life Time of Love. In their fantastic installation Fear and Hope, twins Josh and Jake Kubisz explore personal approaches that either embrace or recoil from the risks of daily life. Employing positive ploys and defensive strategies, they examine states of paranoia and euphoria in the home and on the road. Through August 12.

Jenifer Mangione Vogt is an arts writer based in Boca Raton, FL.

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