Syracuse University Art Museum Presents “Steady/Retcon”

The Syracuse University Museum of Art is pleased to announce “Steady/Retcon,” featuring the work of studio arts, film and media arts, and enrolled MFA thesis candidates at the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Curated by Laura Dvorkin ’06, “Steady/ Retcon” features the work of ten contemporary artists – Sam Azghandi, Aaron Burleson, Manya Gadhok, Jana Herman, Xuan Liu, Lebogang Matseke, Valeria Oha, Shuoran Zhou, Zhu Zhu and Michael Christopher Zuhorski – who assess and reframe their personal stories, traditional norms of artistic creation, and history as a whole.

“Steady/Retcon” is part of a multi-location exhibition spread across three university exhibition spaces and features 27 artists. Sites include the Syracuse University Museum of Art, the Point of Contact Gallery, and the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery.

The presentation of the exhibition by the museum is free and open to the public from Thursday March 31 until Sunday May 15 in the Shaffer Art Building. The museum will host a reception on Thursday, April 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a talk with exhibition curator Laura Dvorkin ’06 at 7 p.m. in the Shemin Auditorium. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m., and closed Mondays and university holidays.

Preview of the exhibition

A traditionally literary and cinematic technique, retcon is short for retroactive continuity and signifies new information introduced into a story that alters the interpretation of a previously established narrative. Although it is a little used word, it is ubiquitous. Retcon is not only employed in a fictional context, read in a book or viewed on a screen, but experienced in the world around us. In today’s climate, we’re constantly absorbing new information (like it or not!) and it’s challenging the way we see everything – day to day, hour to hour. Our internal database is growing at record speed. What was recognized as commonplace just a year ago is being re-examined, and sometimes, by the whole world in unison.

The artists in this exhibition assess and reframe their personal stories, traditional norms of artistic creation, and history as a whole. While in everyday life the constant introduction of so-called facts and opinions seems erratic, the investigations carried out within the works in the exhibition are much more intentional, slower, steady. These are careful and curious assessments pulled from the media web and into meticulously presented ideas.

Here we have two applications of retcon – one that references the daily and ever-changing insights we receive, and one that reflects new details brought forth by these artists through their work that will alter our perceptions. As small as it is, each piece of information sets in motion a new interpretation of our environment, past, present and future.

Exhibition places

Syracuse University Museum of Art
Shaffer Art Building
Exhibition dates: March 31-May 15
Opening: April 7, 5-7 p.m.
Curatorial conference: 7 p.m.

Touchpoint Gallery
The warehouse
350 Fayette Street West
Exhibition dates: March 31-May 15
Opening: April 14, 5-7 p.m.

Sue and Léon Genet Gallery
The warehouse
350 Fayette Street West
Opening: April 21, 5-7 p.m.

Mildred D. Field