Gibbes exhibit investigates role of props

Image by GibbesImage by 20090514-propmaster.jpg A brief video from behind the scenes at the exhibit.

Update May 14:

If you haven't already gone, the Gibbes Museum of Art's latest installation 'Prop Master' looks like it is worth the trip. Susan Harbage Page and Juan Logan show how art, like props from a set, can either reinforce, challenge, or undermine societal standards.

As Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn writes on her blog, in part:

Prop Master is about race, class, gender and sexual identity in the South, and particularly, at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, which for the last 100 years, included only 40 works by African Americans in its collection of 10,000. pieces. “Props” support us, and here we question all that.

The art is somewhat controversial and bold, something the Gibbes has shied away from in the past.

The Charleston City Paper also has a write-up on the installation.

First reporting:

Prop Master: An Installation by Juan Logan and Susan Harbage Page will be exhibited in the Main Gallery of the Gibbes Museum from April 3 to July 19, 2009.

Here's a bit about the exhibit from an e-mailed press release:

Artists Susan Harbage Page and Juan Logan juxtapose art objects drawn from the Gibbes' collection and decorative art objects from local public and private collections, with works of their own creation, to investigate the role of the institution of the museum as both a prop master and a prop with regard to race, class, and gender relations in Charleston society.

These two artists have borrowed the idea of a prop master from the theatre. It traditionally means the person who gathers props for a production, but in this context the "exhibition critiques portraiture as a prop and support for a structure of social positions."

Don’t miss this great exhibit at the Gibbes, and to learn more please check out their Web site. Adult admission is $9.