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April 23 – May 6, 2001
USF Contemporary Art Museum

UNION is a group of emerging artists whose work includes personal, cultural, and invented mythologies combined with wry playfulness. Salt, vacu-formed plastic, breastmilk, water, and multi-colored tape find voice in a cacophony of physical environments. UNION is Carole Loeffler, Shane Richardson, James Kevin Dowdee, Heather Cushman-Dowdee and Jason Irwin, all M.F.A. candidates from the University of South Florida.

Heather Cushman-Dowdee
Hathor at the Million Mom March, 2000
Paper mache, chicken wire, cloth, paint, video

"In my installations, sculptures, drawings and performances, I attempt mediate and disseminate ideologies relating to current social movements as well as exploring my own identity as a mother. As Hathor, I have baked breastmilk bread in a gallery with the help of visitors who were then encouraged to taste the bread. I have created opportunities in which the viewer could be photographed being suckled by Hathor, and I appeared as Hathor at the Million Mom March in Washington DC. These performances combine with objects and drawings to create a story that dwells within our notions of motherhood, independence, family and community. It is my desire to expose these cultural manifestations and find transcendence through interdependence; I call it Hathor's Evolution Revolution."
- Heather Cushman-Dowdee

Shane Richardson Sanctuary for Satellites,
detail of Pneumatic Dispatch System and Speciman Containers, 2000.

"An evident loss of a stable center or focal point (home) on all fronts of mobile existence perpetuated by inventions such as the World Wide Web has manifested as a transient and temporary understanding of shelter and activity. Between the states of being, the formation of identity or 'role' adopted in order to survive through adaptability becomes essential. With regards to an encroaching hybridization of synthetic and organic matter, issues of journeys, struggles, vulnerability and fragility are referenced as a fictionalized narrative space manifests. through a dynamic relationship of polarities interior and exterior, performance and impermanence are situated within idiosyncratic constructs that draw their life from localized landscapes and imaginary environments."
- Shane Richardson

James Kevin Dowdee
All of this and still no return..., 2000. Water, polyvinyl chloride, aluminum,
garden hose, aquarium, plastic, tumbled glass.

"All of this and still no return... is a quote on the controlling, and in the end empty, power of municipal utilities on a population. The effort and monies put forth to construct absurd networks of 'services' results in the creation of a network of control and desire.

I have become most fascinated with humanities relationship with water and our desire to control that which cannot be controlled. All of this and still no one of my efforts in this direction."
- James Kevin Dowdee

Carole Loeffler
Detail of Lucky Foot and Parachute, 1999–2000. F fur, cheesecloth, electrical tape,
stuffing, duct tape, garbage bags, wire, cloth.

"Sumptuous, hyper real, fragility, stregth, idiosyncratic, suggestions, reverberations, families, fragments, honesty, bink, squish, purity, shelter, absurd, quirky, bizarre, organic, abstract, synthetic, candy, play, plastic, treat, awkward, transition, obsession, real, potentials..."
- Carole Loeffler

Jason Irwin
American Trucking–Trade Show Display, 2000.
Multimedia sculptural installation, video, sound.

"Superblocks are the vocabulary of being. They are used to construct identities and to stack buildings in slow motion, gradually fading into one another. There is high-speed growth–POW! POW! POW!–sections come together in a flash with strobe effects. then comes smoke and clouds–the city and the self are born."
- Jason Irwin