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Rozsa Gallery A-Space Presents ChickenBus: A U.S. - Guatemalan Experience
What is a ChickenBus? A chicken bus is a bright, loud, jostling work of public transportation in Guatemala. The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents the Rozsa Gallery A Space show ChickenBus, featuring work by VPA faculty member Lisa Gordillo. ChickenBus is the first U.S. exhibit of works inspired by Gordillo’s long-term collaboration with Guatemalan artists and writers. It will travel to Guatemala in summer, 2017, and the exhibit will run from Saturday, Feb. 25 – Friday March 24. There will be an opening reception with the artist on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM, including a conversation with artist Lisa Gordillo, 6:00pm. There will also be a second event, a “Marimba Concert & Poetry Night,” developed in collaboration with Michigan Tech music students and conducted by Mike Christiansen, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands, on Thursday, March 23 at 6:00 PM in the Rozsa lobby. This is a special concert & poetry reading that will combine marimba music with readings by Gordillo’s husband, Guatemalan writer Hugo Gordillo, whose collections, Trench(era) and Para Escapar de la Muerte, were key inspirations for ChickenBus. The concert will be conducted by Mike Christianson, with an introduction by Lisa Gordillo. Both the opening reception and Marimba Concert and Poetry event are free and all are welcome.
Gordillo’s work often explores our connections to landscape and to one another. First trained as a theatre artist, she finds resonance in narrative and “visual poetics.” Her art is layered and sometimes disparate, in part a reference to the complex stories she’s working to merge. The collection on display in ChickenBus – aural, tactile, and olfactory – is influenced by the art and poetry of Guatemala, its thirty-five year civil war, and the role of U.S. policy on the country’s political turmoil. At times colorful, at other times washed out, the show’s work aims to touch a difficult topic poetically, and to honor the vibrant and delicate histories that inspired it. Gordillo drew much of her inspiration from her husband’s writings. Guatemalan journalist and author Hugo Gordillo has written several collections on Guatemala’s civil war and its accompanying ecological destruction. The exhibit uses texts from Hugo Gordillo’s poems and short stories, or “cuentos,” along with impressions the artist gathered while spending time in Guatemala.
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