- courtesty of the artist
Matt Kruback & Naomi Marine: prima facie
"Prima facie" is a Latin phrase sometimes used in legal documents that means "at first glance" or "based on first impressions." It's a fitting title for a multimedia art exhibition that challenges such impressions, and questions the nature of perception itself.
Alice Gallery's new exhibit prima facie—presenting photography, sculpture and drawings by Matt Kruback and Naomi Marine—doesn't take common assumptions about perception at face value. Their pieces navigate different routes around the subject matter, utilizing schematic drawing, scientific illustration, taxidermy and documentary photography, in addition to elements of the fantastical. Kruback's 2016 pigment print "Rhetoric" (pictured), for example, fixes its eye on the most solid of objects—rocks—while Marine's ink-on-paper "Apparition" seems to reveal the most ethereal, cloud-like images of the imagination. But the artists' bodies of work bridge the gap between those two extremes.
Marine explains via email, "Some of the works use precise details, diagramming elements or other visual indicators of exactitude, measurement and evaluation to present abstract marks/forms, offering a contradiction between language and our assumptions about the content from imagery. Other works combine concrete, even hyper-real, elements to disrupt perception." Art thus becomes a project of philosophy, allowing us to consider how we understand the world through what we see—or what we think we see. (Brian Staker)
Matt Kruback & Naomi Marine: prima facie @ Alice Gallery, 617 E. South Temple, 801-236-7555, free, Sept. 15-Nov. 10; Gallery Stroll reception, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m.; visualarts.utah.gov
- Twila Victory
Collin Williams: My Suicide Note
When comedian Collin Williams talks about the origin for his new one-man show My Suicide Note, he's not merely speaking metaphorically. "I sketched out original note August of last year," Williams says. "And as a comedian, it gets ingrained in you to write jokes into things. When I finally released it, I said, 'I'm not sure if this is going to be a suicide note or a show.'"
Fortunately, it turned out to be the latter—a confessional and darkly humorous exploration of his own history with suicidal thoughts and mental health issues, built on an actual 12-page note. "A lot of time people will think, oh, this one thing happened and that's why [someone considers suicide]," Williams says. "It's not one thing; it's an extended river of shit that overflows the dam, and floods the town below called Hope. In my case, it was a lifetime of stuff."
While Williams has performed much of the material in pieces at other shows, this week's event—which also serves as a fundraiser for the Utah chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness—marks its world premiere. The comedian hopes that audiences are entertained and perhaps even inspired by the personal struggle he describes, including surviving childhood sexual abuse, but he's also forthright about the show's role in his own attempts at healing. "Number one, honestly, it's my own catharsis," he says. "You definitely want people to enjoy the show, and I've worked hard, but this is literally what I live for at this point." (Scott Renshaw)
Collin Williams: My Suicide Note @ Club at 50 West, 50 W. 300 South, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., $12, suicidenote.me
- Todd Keith
Pioneer Theatre Co.: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
One of the perqs of being a theater company's artistic director is deciding not just which shows become part of the season, but which ones you can direct yourself. The flip-side is the challenge Pioneer Theatre Co.'s Karen Azenberg discovered when she took on directing the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
"I saw the New York production," Azenberg says, "and was really affected by the story, and the artistry of what this play achieved with a very different kind of technical design concept. I felt excited that I could have my own try at that. Then it's, 'What am I going to do?' and the panic can set in."
Self-deprecation aside, Azenberg has terrific material in the adaptation of Mark Haddon's best-seller, about a young British man named Christopher investigating the killing of a neighborhood dog. While specific reference to autism or Asperger's syndrome isn't in the text, Christopher is generally understood to be on the spectrum, presenting unique challenges and opportunities in bringing that character to the stage.
"What researchers and parents of children on the spectrum said to us, is, 'When you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.' What that gives you, and I say this not at all glibly, is the ability to pick and choose how specific aspects serve the storytelling. ... At its heart, the play is about a family. The autism piece, while in one sense critical, in another sense is secondary." (SR)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time @ Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, 801-581-7522, Sept. 15-30, dates and times vary, $25-$49, pioneertheatre.org
- via thelightsfest.com
The time is coming for the nights to grow long and the days to turn chilly. The sun that has been keeping us warm—even if it wasn't always within the range we preferred—will be less available to extend its golden rays. As summer comes to a close, it seems only fitting to have a final celebration of light.
Eagle Mountain's Lights Fest offers music from live performers and delicious eats from a variety of food trucks, in addition to a few more kid-focused activities like face-painting and bouncy houses. But these merely set the stage for the main event: a mass lantern launch.
Each ticket for The Lights Fest comes with a "sky lantern" (sort of a small hot-air balloon), as well as a marker and key-chain flashlight. As one, you and every other attendee can light and release an eco-friendly, biodegradable lantern into the sky. You can fill yours with marker-written wishes, dreams or goals, or leave it empty of everything but that small glimmer of light.
The festival is more than just a goodbye to what was; it is also a way to prepare for the change that is to come. It's a simple symbol of hope to remind us that: Winter may be on its way, but no one has to face the cold darkness alone.
And while the Lights Fest is for-profit, they are partnering with the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy nonprofit Mitchell's Journey for the Utah event. So you can take comfort in the fact that you're having fun for a good cause. (Casey Koldewyn)
Lights Fest @ Cory Wride Memorial Park, 806 N. Pony Express Parkway, Eagle Mountain, Sept. 16, 4:30-9 p.m., $27-$53, thelightsfest.com