UTOPIAN DILEMMA: upstream / downstream

UTOPIAN DILEMMA: upstream / downstream

Marilyn Waligore

March 6 - April 25, 2015

Artist Marilyn Waligore explores connections between photography and sculpture by investigating the object and the material that comprises it, while commenting on the potential for recycling. Aluminum forms are reclaimed and formed into a new sculptural structure, presented in her photographs as an idealized, yet absurd comment on the possibilities for reuse. Everyday aluminum cans, culled from streets and streams, are doused with color, from shocking pink to glittering gold, and enlarged to become visually mesmerizing configurations. In her landscape imagery, she marks GPS locations of neighborhood waterways that over time have become the resting place for refuse, reminding the viewer of the impact of our daily rituals.

Marilyn Waligore is Professor of Aesthetic Studies / Photography at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she has directed the photography program since 1989. Waligore received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and undergraduate degrees in art and in English from the University of California-Berkeley. Her articles on photography have appeared in Leonardo and Photography Quarterly, and she has curated numerous group exhibitions. Her photographs and online media projects have been exhibited widely, including Hong Kong, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Thailand, and venues such as SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles; the New York Digital Salon, School of Visual Arts, NYC; Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York; the Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh; the Houston Center for Photography; the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio, and in Austin, Texas, at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Women & Their Work, and in the Texas Biennial, Mexican American Cultural Center. She is a recipient of grants and awards, including an Artist Fellowship in Visual Arts from the Ohio Arts Council, the Arts Midwest/ National Endowment of the Arts Regional Visual Arts Fellowship in Photography, and the Moss/Chumley North Texas Artist Award in Photography and New Genres.

As we confront our contemporary existence, with our desire for convenience and embrace of consumerism, we find ourselves faced with a Utopian Dilemma. The euphoria of modernism has been replaced by an anxiety aligned with 21st century concerns regarding sustainability. I strive to transform the discarded, inverting our value system to transform trash into treasure, with the hope to prompt changes in social behavior. — Marilyn Waligore