Business Library, Auditorium Gallery (branch info)
by Bradly Dever Treadaway and Justin Randolph Thompson
Martirio is a series of digital prints generated exclusively with appropriated photographs culminated from a variety of sources. The work concerns the breakdown of traditional culture and the evolution of technology through portraits, symbols and metaphors. Each piece memorializes the struggle of traditional trades in Italy to sustain their craft in the face of technology and ever-consolidating trade channels. These trades, or mestiere, such as the Calzulaio (Shoemaker), Vettraio (Glassworker) and Arrotino (Knife Sharpener) are displayed in tattered frames salvaged from a variety of sources in Italy, some of the reclaimed woodwork dates to the 17th century. Intricate interventions of guache and ink introduced by Thompson complement the digital renderings of Treadaway, finalizing the compositions by incorporating metaphoric elements such as the palm leaf and maps of ancient ports.
To be knowledgeable about oneself from the roots up necessitates, first off, knowing that which lies behind us that, in the process of rapid change and transformation with which everything is digested, digging out the foundation of self-consciousness. Punctual observers of historic contradiction, Thompson and Treadaway continually analyze the present beginning with the past. Combining the forms of photography, sculpture, and digital technology, the investigation is the relationship between past and present, here focused on ancient trades. In this way, worn and antiquated images of farmers, builders, glass workers and butchers establish a direct relationship between contemporary and historic states through the process of artistic incorporation. Integrated with the work (when fully installed) is a series of sculptural elements: hand-sewn palm leaves. The palm, a symbol of resurrection, underlines the way that a diachronic temporal development inevitably brings with it a destiny of sacrifice, as a result of changing times. The artists arrive, in this way, to subtly reflect on an inequivocation between tradition and technology searching for a balanced relationship.
Bradly Dever Treadaway is an artist and teacher utilizing photography, video, film and installation to emphasize socially conscious themes and self-awareness. His work revolves around the loss of family, tradition and history and aspires to reunite present and past through visual metaphors. Mr. Treadaway works with five generations of family archives from Southern Louisiana and joins them with his own creations, memories and observations to comment on the struggle to preserve. Mr. Treadaway is an internationally exhibited and published artist, a Fulbright Scholar to Italy. Currently he is the Digital Media Assistant and a Faculty member at The International Center of Photography in New York City.
Justin Randolph Thompson is a Florence, Italy based sculptor and video artist whose work revolves around themes of race, identity and other social issues. His work is created in direct relation to images and ideas from Italian Art History and results from the conflict between these references and those from the African-American culture in which he was raised. He is an internationally exhibited artist, has lectured as visiting artist at various University programs and conferences, and has published articles of his scholarly research in international publications. Thompson is currently Professor of Fine Art at Scuola Lorenzo de' Medici.
"Meet the Artist": Bradly Treadaway
Saturday, April 18, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
Business Library Auditorium
Please join Bradly Treadaway for an informal talk about his artwork.