July 2 – August 30, 2018
Reception | Sunday, July, 15 | 2-4pm
Vero Rose Smith is a photographer, painter, and designer currently based in Iowa City, Iowa. Her recent work has focused on collective memory, the intersection of humanity and environment, and social justice. She is the Assistant Curator for the Legacies for Iowa Collections-Sharing Project at the University of Iowa Museum of Art.
FRIGID, DREAMING ISLAND Exhibit
Artist Statement: An overt confluence of culture and military history has deeply affected both the Icelandic and American sense of identity. America is a country locked and loaded. America always wins. Iceland has never had a military of its own, though Icelanders do love their Coast Guard. To Iceland, international military presence and attention was a veritable bridge (rainbow or otherwise) into modernity. Previously an isolated fishing culture is known best for nearly-magical knitwear and Nordic ancestry, Iceland was catapulted to the forefront of communications technology during the Cold War. Improbably, the frigid, dreaming island entered a period of international importance and military strategery that has yet to end. Iceland is between, its twentieth-century political importance mirroring plate tectonics. So Iceland became the spoiled child of divorce, Russia and America attempting to win the country’s affections through increasingly expensive gifts. Both superpowers wooed Icelanders with film strips, each reel designed to subtly seduce. However, Americans showered the island with surveillance instruments, airplanes, and a new economy. And NATO (the new boyfriend) kept Russia at arm’s length. For Iceland, military involvement was passive and externally applied. Conversely, the American military complex is the embodiment of nationhood. Regardless, the history is partially shared. These photographs document the former (soon to be re-militarized) NATO base, located near Keflavík.
“Mediated Moons” | A meditation on personal data and the feminine body.
Artist Statement: In an age of easily quantified selfhood, what data points matter? What can (if any) combination of meticulously measured steps, heartbeats, breaths, posts, and tweets accurately reflect a fully human experience? Are these discrete values digitally gathered more valuable than bodily observations? Can a mobile device tell us something more important than the moon? Long a symbol connected to the divinity of fertility, the moon is a menstrual sentinel, a marker of time for both the earth and for the individual human observer. For the month of May 2016, I recorded my dreams. I then mapped my dream-remembrances onto the corresponding moon phase and created a series of stencils. Finally, I produced tonal paintings meant to emulate the emotional context of each dream and married these stenciled surfaces to mirrors. I am currently working on a web-based application to allow users to create their own moon-dream stencils in real time.