PORTLAND — An exhibition of printed matter highlighting collaboration, communication and public engagement opens in the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Collective Actions II consists of three elements: The Unity of Opposites, Print Lab and Mobile Print Power.
The Unity of Opposites exhibition features the collaboration between two printmaking studios: Zea Mays Printmaking of Florence, Massachusetts, and Peregrine Press of Portland. The two studios created a visual “rip-off” of the childhood game telephone, in an effort to expose real-world issues about communication and interpretation in contemporary culture. The process continued until 75 artists participated over the course of five months; each artist’s response highlights their own perspective on their collaborator’s art.
The interactive Print Lab is being brought to fruition by the Future Mothers art collective, the multigenerational New York City collective Mobile Print Power, and by student artists from MECA’s Zine Club. Three distinct but complementary projects, comprised of the Future Bridges tent, the Mobile Print Power silkscreen cart, and the Zine Fair, will employ socially engaged art practices and draws on a rich history of collaboration, dissemination and public action through printmaking. Through participatory workshops that engage local community members, participants will explore urgent social and political issues through creative mediums.
Mobile Print Power is a multi-generational collective based at IMI Corona in Queens, New York, that utilizes silkscreen printmaking and participatory design in public spaces to engage communities. Soñamos Sentirnos Libres: Making it Real is an evolution of the exhibition Soñamos Sentirnos Libres: Under Construction.
This version of the exhibition highlights some of the collaborative work produced throughout its initial run, which focused on utilizing historical resources to draw connections between past and current struggles for the rights of immigrants, intentionally prioritizing the voices of youth, undocumented folks and women.
At Maine College of Art, a series of public events will engage different communities with the ideas behind Mobile Print Power’s work, including collaboration, immigrant identity and the role of the artist.
To learn more about Collective Actions II or the Institute of Contemporary Art, visit meca.edu/ica. The Institute of Contemporary Art is open to the public free of charge from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. first Fridays of the month.