Artborne Magazine July 2016 - Page 40

Review 2016 Florida Prize by Leah Sandler The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, now in its third year, is an initiative of the Orlando Museum of Art. The Florida Prize presents an exhibition of ten artists living and working in the state, with one artist selected as the winner of the prize. Through themes of technology and human geography, this year’s exhibition unites the diverse practices of Anthea Behm, Adler Guerrier, María Martínez-Cañas, Noelle Mason, Ernesto Oroza, Matt Roberts, Dawn Roe, Kyle Trowbridge, Michael Vasquez and Sergio Vega. Noelle Mason, from Tampa, was named this year’s prize winner. Noelle Mason presented selections from two bodies of work for the show: Human Hunting (small, cotton stitcheries and large, wool tapestryrugs examining the effects of vision technologies on perceptions of undocumented immigrants) and Love Letters/White Flag (vintage white handkerchiefs embroidered with entries from the journals of Eric Harris, one of the two students responsible for the Columbine High School shooting). Both bodies of work employ two-dimensional, appropriated imagery presented as three-dimensional textile objects created through processes associated with craft, domesticity, and the handmade. Mason’s use of these specific images implicates the power dynamic of surveillance in conditions of institutional dehumanization and objectification, from the American education system to immigration enforcement. The warmth of labor and craft juxtaposed with the eerie coldness of Mason’s imagery imposes a sense of discord in the simultaneous visibility and distance created by the use of visualization technologies. The relevance and ubiquity of these technologies in our contemporary experience is paralleled throughout the show, in the work of other artists as well as in the name of the galleries. Two of the galleries containing the Florida Prize show are, ironically, named after museum sponsor Lockheed Martin, one of the companies responsible for the development of the technologies Mason takes her imagery from. The effects of technology on human perception and experience is a theme also found in the work of nominees Kyle Trowbridge, Matt Roberts, Anthea Behm and Dawn Roe. Trowbridge’s saturated and colorful QR codes painted on canvas reveal playful hidden messages when scanned with a smartphone. Matt Roberts’ downloadable app The Strangers (a collaboration with poet and Stetson University professor Terri Witek) allo