Kipp Normand: Snake Oil

Kipp Normand: Snake OilKipp Normand: Snake Oil

Fri, Mar 06, 2020 6:00 PM – Fri, Mar 06, 2020 10:00 PM Kipp Normand: Snake Oil

Where: Tube Factory artspace Tube Factory artspace 1125 Cruft St Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

In “Snake Oil,” Normand distills four centuries of history to illustrate the deep-seated American penchant for fantastical thinking. This thinking has blessed us with a wonderful capacity for imagination and creativity leading to unprecedented inventiveness and successes. But it also has a darker side, which invents justification for cruelty, exploitation and shameless self-interest. This duality is amply illustrated by events in American history. But much of that history was erased or overlooked in favor of the mythology that paints this county from start to finish as the greatest nation.

Part world’s fair exhibit, huckster wagon, dime museum, and midway arcade; Normand uses kinetic sculpture, a collage of artifacts and video to draw attention to both the beauty and strength of America as well as the exploitations that formed the foundations of capitalism. Disquieting truths like religious intolerance, the commodification of women and our role in the transatlantic slave trade are placed with respect and care in glass cases offering a chance for redemption.

“The more we ignore or cover up unpleasant facts in our history the more we empower their dark shadows to cripple our culture and continue their exploitation of the vulnerable,” says Normand. “Healing starts with acknowledgement.”

On the two monitors in the community room are four films Normand selected: “From Dawn To Sunset,” 1937, made by the General Motor Corporation, “Stripper Variety Girls,” 1938, “VD is for Everybody,” 1972, made by the American Social Health Association, and “Peter Borik,” 1942, made by the Michigan State Department of Health to address tuberculosis.

In the video room is a miniature 1920s movie palace featuring Normand’s new 17-minute short film, “Madness.” Ornate mirrors reflect back gold, gilded chairs, the viewer, and the fragmented images and sounds from the short film. The juxtaposition of machinery, environment, iconic images of Americana all set a tone in which to view “Snake Oil” in the main gallery.

Each month, Normand will alter “Snake Oil” — presenting new sustenance for viewers to re-examine the ideas of American Exceptionalism. Imbued with satire and mixed with painful truths, this haunted temple of junk casts a sideways glance at the tales we tell our children and ourselves about who we are and how we got here.

About Normand
Artist and historian Kipp Normand’s practice is a physical and conceptual investigation into the power of objects and images as a narrative device. Inspired by the Dada traditions of assemblage, collage, construction, and performance, Normand employs the acts of appropriation, reuse, and re-contextualization to explore contemporary perceptions of time, community, and memory.

Normand — who maintains a studio and workspace in Indianapolis where he creates dynamic works of visual art infused with narratives of culture, community, and history — is a scavenger and an obsessive collector. He searches back streets and alleys, junk stores and abandoned buildings, looking for clues to explain the mysteries of our world. Normand finds stories in discarded things: Stories about all of us, our cities, and our shared history. He first began making collage images, shadow boxes, and installations as a way to justify his relentless collecting. But the work soon became much more than that. It is Normand’s way to dig deeply into the vast attic of this world and to share his finds with anyone who takes the time to look. He holds a Master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and worked nearly 30 years in the field of heritage preservation and housing reform before turning to the practice of art.

Made possible by Indy Mod Homes, Kan Kan Cinema and Brasserie, Skyler Creative, Arts Council of Indianapolis, City of Indianapolis – Government, Sun King Brewery, and Ash & Elm Cider Co.

This exhibition would not be possible without the kindness and generosity of Todd Bracik, Emmett Baumgarten, Big Car Staff, Matt Hale, Peter Horvath, Larry Jones, Johnny McKee and many others.

Event tags: Snake Oil, Part world’s fair exhibit, huckster wagon, dime museum, and midway arcade; Normand uses kinetic sculpture, a collage of artifacts and video to draw attention to both the beauty and strength of America as well as the exploitations that formed the foundations of capitalism, Kipp Normand, art, First Friday

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March 6, 2020 6:00 PM
March 6, 2020 10:00 PM
America/Indianapolis
Fri, Mar 06, 2020 Kipp Normand: Snake Oil

In “Snake Oil,” Normand distills four centuries of history to illustrate the deep-seated American penchant for fantastical thinking. This thinking has blessed us with a wonderful capacity for imagination and creativity leading to unprecedented inventiveness and successes. But it also has a darker side, which invents justification for cruelty, exploitation and shameless self-interest. This duality is amply illustrated by events in American history. But much of that history was erased or overlooked in favor of the mythology that paints this county from start to finish as the greatest nation.

Part world’s fair exhibit, huckster wagon, dime museum, and midway arcade; Normand uses kinetic sculpture, a collage of artifacts and video to draw attention to both the beauty and strength of America as well as the exploitations that formed the foundations of capitalism. Disquieting truths like religious intolerance, the commodification of women and our role in the transatlantic slave trade are placed with respect and care in glass cases offering a chance for redemption.

“The more we ignore or cover up unpleasant facts in our history the more we empower their dark shadows to cripple our culture and continue their exploitation of the vulnerable,” says Normand. “Healing starts with acknowledgement.”

On the two monitors in the community room are four films Normand selected: “From Dawn To Sunset,” 1937, made by the General Motor Corporation, “Stripper Variety Girls,” 1938, “VD is for Everybody,” 1972, made by the American Social Health Association, and “Peter Borik,” 1942, made by the Michigan State Department of Health to address tuberculosis.

In the video room is a miniature 1920s movie palace featuring Normand’s new 17-minute short film, “Madness.” Ornate mirrors reflect back gold, gilded chairs, the viewer, and the fragmented images and sounds from the short film. The juxtaposition of machinery, environment, iconic images of Americana all set a tone in which to view “Snake Oil” in the main gallery.

Each month, Normand will alter “Snake Oil” — presenting new sustenance for viewers to re-examine the ideas of American Exceptionalism. Imbued with satire and mixed with painful truths, this haunted temple of junk casts a sideways glance at the tales we tell our children and ourselves about who we are and how we got here.

About Normand
Artist and historian Kipp Normand’s practice is a physical and conceptual investigation into the power of objects and images as a narrative device. Inspired by the Dada traditions of assemblage, collage, construction, and performance, Normand employs the acts of appropriation, reuse, and re-contextualization to explore contemporary perceptions of time, community, and memory.

Normand — who maintains a studio and workspace in Indianapolis where he creates dynamic works of visual art infused with narratives of culture, community, and history — is a scavenger and an obsessive collector. He searches back streets and alleys, junk stores and abandoned buildings, looking for clues to explain the mysteries of our world. Normand finds stories in discarded things: Stories about all of us, our cities, and our shared history. He first began making collage images, shadow boxes, and installations as a way to justify his relentless collecting. But the work soon became much more than that. It is Normand’s way to dig deeply into the vast attic of this world and to share his finds with anyone who takes the time to look. He holds a Master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and worked nearly 30 years in the field of heritage preservation and housing reform before turning to the practice of art.

Made possible by Indy Mod Homes, Kan Kan Cinema and Brasserie, Skyler Creative, Arts Council of Indianapolis, City of Indianapolis – Government, Sun King Brewery, and Ash & Elm Cider Co.

This exhibition would not be possible without the kindness and generosity of Todd Bracik, Emmett Baumgarten, Big Car Staff, Matt Hale, Peter Horvath, Larry Jones, Johnny McKee and many others.


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