WENDY WISCHER portrait
  • Assistant Professor, Art/Art History Department
  • Associate Professor, Art/Art History Department
801-587-8483

Research Statement

 

To see the world in a grain of sand,

and to see heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hands,

and eternity in an hour.

William Blake

 

Having lived in both rural and city settings has brought the natural and urban worlds together in my work.  The natural world stirs a nostalgic affection and strong sense of identity; at the same time, the excitement of an urban environment and advancing technology prove to be equally intoxicating.  With a minimalist approach to form and a conceptual approach to process, I am lured to re-define the shape of my environment: to explore our shifting relationships with nature, the voice of the elements, the topography of technology and the mapping of time, space and memory.

I am interested in boundaries, where they collide, where they overlap, and where they continuously link forming threads throughout, both conceptually and visually with a specific focus on the gap between the visible and the invisible.  I address boundaries of nature, technology, science, mythology, personal identity and universal connections.   I am fascinated by the sometimes conflicting and magical realms between the physical and the imaginary, the sensual and virtual existence.

With a concentration on installations, my interest in light lies in the fluidity of the medium, being both tangible and intangible.  The performative nature of light encourages the presence of the viewer to change the movement and reflection, making evident the existence of its occupation in space.  Including the use of technology and fabricated materials in my vocabulary attempts to link the man-made with the natural elements, which ultimately work together to create a new aesthetic and in certain cases propose technology as environment.  

I seek to re-direct attention to the smaller things in life, exposing the sacred within the mundane and the monumental within the minute.

I hope to unveil inherent connections to our surroundings and with that, re-establish intrinsic relationships as thoughts and memories, experiences and environments, continuously appear and reappear in overlapping fragments. 

Creative Research

  • The Borderless Caribbean, Haitian Cultural Center, Miami, Florida Exhibition, in progress 12/04/2014.
  • "Breathing Beneath the Surface", 30 Years on the Road, Art Center South Florida, Miami Beach, Florida Exhibition, in progress 11/19/2014.
  • "Trapped Within" New Narratives, Utah Museum of Art, Salt Lake City, Utah Exhibition, in progress 10/24/2014.
  • Making Connections: Selections from the Boca Museum and Private Collections, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida Exhibition, in progress 06/01/2014.
  • Purchase for Utah Arts & Museums Fine Art Collection Competition, completed 04/15/2014.
  • Contained, Art & Architecture Library within the Marriot Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah Exhibition, completed 03/24/2014.
  • Selected for Pre-qualified Public Artist Pool, Salt Lake City Corporation, Utah Competition, in progress 03/01/2014.
  • Utah Visual Arts Fellowship, Utah Arts & Museums, Salt Lake City, Utah Competition, completed 02/01/2014.
  • the creation of "Black Holes and Silver Linings", an installation using mirrored plexi-glass, projected video, and sensor triggered sound. The viewer enters the room to see a large ring of small cut pieces of mirrored acrylic. The ring is approximately 10’ x 13’. The mirrored acrylic pieces are hung from the ceiling at different heights to create the ring, similar to the chunks of ice that make up the rings of Saturn. A short throw video projector is used to illuminate the ring of mirrored acrylic while projecting video onto them. The light reflection refracts off the mirrored surfaces and bounces back onto the white architecture, revealing thousands of small fragments of video. Since the video image is masked to fit the ring, the only video spillage occurs on the floor where the light is slipping through the cracks between the mirrored pieces revealing a secondary fragmentation of the moving image that repeats the image of the ring. There is a sound track playing throughout the gallery in conjunction with the video. The ring is angled from the ceiling to the floor at one end allowing for the viewer to walk under the higher end and stand in the middle of the ring. A motion sensor is triggered by the viewer inside the ring and when this happens, the sound and video abruptly stop, leaving the viewer to hear a whispered story. When the viewer leaves the center of the ring, the video and loud storm-like sound continues. The work is polyvalent in concept. On a personal level, this concept springs from those life experiences that constantly tug at me. Pulling me into patterns or situations that are familiar, even if destructive. Yet at the “Event Horizon”, when at the center of darkness, everything stills. When we can face our fears and demons directly, we can expand outward and see things in a new light. The whole can be overwhelming while fragmented parts can allow for focus and a sense of possibility. Exhibition, in progress 05/11/2013.
  • Migrating Inwards, Art Center South Florida, 924 Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida (during Art Basel Miami Beach 2012) Exhibition, completed 12/05/2012.
    http://www.artcentersf.org/migrating-inwards/
  • Unnatural, The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida, exhibiting video installation of "Puddled II" Exhibition, completed 09/08/2012.
    http://www.bassmuseum.org/art/unnatural/

Presentations

  • Artist talk for ART 2400, University of Utah. Presentation, Presented, 10/24/2014.
  • "Environmental installations for the camera lens" At the Rio Mesa Field Station Research Event. Other, Accepted, 09/04/2014.
  • Artist Talk Boca Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 07/11/2014.
  • Art Works For Kids, professional development workshop for secondary educators, Title: Plaster Casting and Reflections on Identity This workshop focused on notions of identity as expressed through the body or body fragments. We discussed the use of plaster wrap (plaster craft or gauze) to make casts from the body, to be used as fragmented parts or assembling them together to create the whole figure. In addition, we will discuss the use of other materials to complete the expression such as paint, fabric, found objects etc… . Other, Presented, 02/22/2014.
  • Guest lecture for ENVST 2100 Introduction to Environmental & Sustainability Studies. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/09/2014.
  • Artist Talk at Mandragoras Art Space in conjunction with the opening of "Black Holes and Silver Linings". Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/11/2013.
  • Visiting Artist for 1st year Studio Visual Language, JBT, U of U. Presentation, Presented, 10/26/2012.
  • Artist Talk in conjunction with the opening of Unnatural at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Other, Presented, 09/08/2012.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Collaborative Learning Across Disciplines with Light, Sound, Video, Movement and Installation/Performance. PI: Wendy Wischer. Co-PI(s): Brent Schneider. University Teaching Grant, 08/01/2014 - 12/09/2014. Total project budget to date: $4,000.00