“In my work I like to explore the possibilities of developing a context to display digital images,” Marina Münter says in introducing her exhibition at the University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA) ArtSpace gallery. Entitled Adcredo – meaning “believe”, “give credence to”, or more generally “trust” – the translation Marina prefers – it is a curious / intriguing installation.
Under a large tent-like drape, held up by ropes extending from the ceiling of the gallery space, is a large, C-shaped table space, set-out for a meal, centred around an arrangement of potted plants. The tables provide 44 places, all of which are occupied by 44 identical wooden marionette bodies, each topped by a head-and-shoulders photograph of an 44 avatar, each of them blindfolded.
Marina points out that Adcredo is strongly inspired by the Tropicália, an artistic movement which arose in Brazil in the 60’s. A dominant principle of Tropicália was antropofagia, a type of cultural cannibalism that encouraged the conflation of disparate influences, out of which could be created something unique.
Antropofiagia is also perhaps the dominant aspect of Adcredo, which seems to bring together aspects of identity, societal ritual (dinner as a social event), and a unique setting by which it can be framed – the tent, the plants and carved animals.
For example, the marionettes and identical place settings suggest the conformity of society; the ritual nature of a group meal (as noted above), and the social niceties it involves; and the question of who we really are to others – and ourselves – as pictured by the blindfolds, which itself encompasses the title of the installation: trust – trusting one another when sightless, and trusting the one taking the photo.
All of this makes for an installation that builds on the essential approach Marina takes to her work: providing a contextual framework (the dinner and place settings) by which to display her images; to potentially build something of greater depth, an installation where almost every element has a potential meaning or a possible comment to make.
As such Adcredo presents itself as both a straightforward exhibition of photography and a layered presentation of ideas.
- UTSA ArtSpace (Rated: Moderate)