O-Town Arts: Creating Absence


Show Runs August 16 – November 23, 2013
Opening Reception August 16th from 7 to 9 PM

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to present Creating Absence, the first curated show for the Locals Only gallery. The exhibition assembled by the Ogden-based collective O-Town Arts includes works by Bruce Case, Holly Jarvis, Derek Rigby, and Josh Winegar.


By exploring spatial relationships between built and conceived environments, this group show focuses on dualities concerning the familiar and the strange. Winegar’s Folds series takes found photographs that connote nostalgia and then modifies the images, resulting in uncanny feelings of loss and discomfort. These sentiments are echoed in the works created by Jarvis and Rigby, as their abstract forms confuse the distinction between real and imagined spaces. Case’s sculptures are a response to urban landscapes, which the artist delineates through ideas of assemblage and structure.  In each of the works, the artists deliberately withhold critical information in order to allow the audience to fill in the missing pieces.

Creating Absence is an intriguing investigation into the peculiar nature of everyday practices and rituals that often overshadow our lived experience. This group show reorients basic concepts of presence and absence by creating false spaces that become real only through the viewer’s experience of the exhibition,” says Associate Curator Rebecca Maksym. “The removal of context from the actual work creates a void. Absence no longer signals merely a lack, rather absence becomes another meta-level of space, an emptiness that ironically reveals alternative channels for interpretation and meaning.”

Josh Winegar “Untitled” from the “Folds” series.
Image courtesy of the artist.
 O-Town Arts: Creating Absence is presented as part of the inaugural Utah Biennial: Mondo Utah. The 2013 Utah Biennial consists of artistic statements, collections, artifacts and positions that explore the diversity of Utah’s cultural landscape.


Proud sponsors of the inaugural Utah Biennial: Mondo Utah. 

Special thanks to Zoo, Arts and Parks, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the UMOCA Ambassador’s Circle and Slug Magazine for their support. Also, a special thank you to j. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah for their kind collaboration.

Media sponsors: City Weekly and Slug Magazine.