DeVos exhibit offers diverse perspectives

Emma Hohman

Project 35 Volume 2 is a traveling art exhibit that includes 35 artist’s and curator’s work from all over the world presenting films.

It has come to NMU and will be on display until Sunday, Nov. 9 at the Devos Art Museum. The Independent Curators International (ICI) is the organization that has been presenting the exhibit and this will be NMU’s third time working with them.

The organization is internationally known and based in New York. Director and curator of the DeVos Art Museum, Melissa Matuscak has worked with others to select 10 videos to be on display at all times while the exhibit is here.

“The videos being displayed through Project 35 Volume 2 are all very diverse and have quite the range of perspectives,” Matuscak said. “You can enjoy the technical ability that goes into some of the pieces.”

The other 25 videos will be scheduled to be viewed on different days in their screening room. There are handouts including the curators’ biographies and why they chose the video for the project for visitors’ viewing.

“Anybody could get something out of this show,” Matuscak said.

All the videos have something different to offer the public and have an assortment of genres. From animation to documentaries, all the films will be 15 minutes or less.

Project 35 Volume 2 “does not have a real theme” and is “all over the place” according to Matuscak.

There is a video about the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vietnam. Junior biology major Adam Schafer is in the ROTC for the Army.

This past June, he traveled to Vietnam to teach English. While living for 29 days in Vietnam, he experienced many new experiences through the different culture.

American and Vietnamese culture are very different and diverse.

Many differences are seen between the cultures of America and Vietnam such as, their government, food, clothing, religion, education, music and laws, according to Schafer.

The owners of businesses would clean up the streets in front of their building because they wanted to keep things clean. Schafer also commented on the welcoming presence in Vietnam. They are community-based, have lots of poverty and orphans, Schafer said.

The food in Vietnam has a lot of seafood and they don’t like to waste parts of the animal being used. Their religion is primarily Buddhism and Hinduism, according to Schafer.

“They tend to marry young and have kids young as well,” Schafer said.

Schafer said he “learned to adapt and understand other people’s ways of life,” while in Vietnam.

The Army wants their lieutenants to have “worldly experience”, according to Schafer.

“I hope at NMU people will exposed to artists and ideas they might have never seen before, and that this will create an appreciation and shared understanding of culture halfway around the world,” Alaina Claire Feldman, director of exhibitions at Independent Curators International said.

She currently oversees all the global presentations of Project 35 Volume 2 and helped pull it all together with her colleagues. The exhibitions of volumes 1 and 2 have gone to 54 venues around the world, from Skopje, Macedonia to Paramaribo, Suriname. There are 35 curators compared to the two that most exhibitions have such as paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and this exhibit is specifically on video.

“I like to think of these videos as the raw materials for an art space’s needs and contingent on the needs of their local audience,” Feldman said.

Project 35 Volume 2 also stands on ICI’s founding ingenuities.

“We’re continuing to think outside traditional gallery conditions in order to mobilize curators today and to respond to artists working in a myriad of media and conditions,” Feldman said.