Disappearing Ink by John Salvest (installation detail)
April 5-June 28, 2014 901.678.2224
Opening Reception: Friday, April 4, 5-7:30
Gallery talks: Saturday, April 5, 11:30 AM and Thursday, April 10, 11:30 AM
Newspapers decreasingly slap driveways across America and provide rattling accompaniment to the morning coffee. Refrigerator magnets and scrapbooks less frequently hold news snippets of a child's scholarly or athletic accomplishments, wedding announcements or pertinent cartoons.
At a different scale, historians for centuries have accessed archives of physical newspapers or more recently microfilm of newspapers to study social life in its daily immediacy and candor. Today, digital news articles are archived on line, but the full page contextual mix of local, national, social, cultural reportage, editorial commentary, letters and ads that offer vivid snapshots of moments in time do not survive. Furthermore, while we classify newspapers as "ephemera," mutating technologies make digital information even more fugitive.
Disappearing Ink is a look at newspapers and other printed matter as documents of personal and collective memories and history. University and community members were invited to lend clippings to the exhibition, be photographed with the objects and to relate their significance in an audio recording. The digital photographs and audios are presented online, taking advantage of new media's unique capabilities for broad dissemination. The exhibition, curated by John Salvest, presents the items as museum artifacts, framed or in cases with appropriate labels.
Salvest also created an installation piece for Disappearing Ink. Exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe, John Salvest's art is based on his collections of things most people toss out without a thought: coffee filters, chalk nubs, cigarette butts, matches, chewed gum, old business cards, fingernail clippings and the daily newspaper. His inventory includes 20 years or approximately 7000 consecutive issues of The Jonesboro Sun. His installation for Disappearing Ink is a giant flock of startled birds rising, turning and filling the top 40,000 cubic feet of AMUM's main gallery. Each of the 1400 birds is a front page from the most recent four years of the Sun.
AMUM is free and open to the public: 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Saturday. Closed between exhibitions and University holidays.
This project is made possible by the UM Student Activity Fee Fund.