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Art installations guide at the True/False Film Festival

Local and national artists display work at the festival's 10th anniversary

February 28, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Where could you find a city on stilts, giant pods you can walk into or a breathing organ?

The installations at this year’s True/False Film Fest push structure to the limit and prove that art can take many forms. Tying in with this year’s theme, “The Collective Architecture of the Impossible,” the various sculptures, displays and venue designs call into question what really is within reach. This year’s pieces, created by local and national artists, are meant to stretch the imagination.

Whether it’s an installation that has made its home at True/False or a work showcased for the first time by a new artist, the pieces that are a part of the fest will offer attendees plenty to experience, explore and enjoy.

View Art Installations at True/False 2013 in a larger map

Kyle Durrie brings her van outfitted with an antique letterpress to the Picturehouse parking lot.

Photo courtesy Derek FagerstromPhoto courtesy of Kyle Durrie

Moveable Type, a mobile letterpress print shop, pays tribute to an invention that revolutionized communication before text messaging.

Returning for a second year to True/False, Kyle Durrie brings the trade of printmaking as well as two antique presses and printing tools.

Durrie first became involved with letterpress printing in 2006, but Johannes Gutenberg popularized the medium in the 15th century as a way to print text for books and pamphlets. “I just kind of signed up for a letterpress print class on a whim and just fell in love with it,” Durrie says.

In 2009, Durrie opened her own letterpress studio called Power and Light Press, known primarily for its hand-printed greeting cards. The business began in Portland, Ore., but recently moved to Silver City, N.M.

Her vision for Moveable Type came while touring with her boyfriend’s band, Run On Sentence, which is playing at this year’s festival. Durrie combined her love of cross-country travel and letterpress printing by creating a mobile letterpress print shop in an old 1982 Chevrolet step van she bought in 2011.

She soon took her shop on a tour across North America that lasted more than 10 months. “The sense of freedom and adventure that I felt — it was a very different way of life,” Durrie says.

Known as the “sweetheart of the road,” the van is once again poised to charm visitors to the fest.

Yulia Pinkusevich’s mural spans Alley A.

Photo courtesy of Yulia PinkusevichPhoto courtesy of Yulia PinkusevichPhoto courtesy of Yulia PinkusevichPhoto courtesy of Yulia PinkusevichPhoto courtesy of Yulia Pinkusevich

Based out of California, Yulia Pinkusevich has created a 24-foot 3-D mural for this year’s fest. The images in the mural “are a sort of hybrid of various styles of architecture,” Pinkusevich says. By building the mural on stilts, she added sculptural elements and pushed it into 3-D form. She wanted to create an “informal city” featuring architecture from around the world.

Pinkusevich first conceptualized the idea after being approached by a friend of True/False co-conspirator Paul Sturtz, who thought her work would fit into the festival well. Sturtz then prompted her with a series of words such as “shantytown favela” and “Swiss Family Robinson” to get her started and introduce her to this year’s theme.

Pinkusevich, who was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, travels often and has different experiences and backgrounds that play into her work. “I have many parts of many cultures in my repertoire,” she says.

By visiting various countries and states, she has been able to see and explore different types of structure and architecture that she uses as inspiration.


Photo courtesy of Rebecca AllenPhoto courtesy of Rebecca AllenPhoto courtesy of Rebecca Allen

Artist: SPORE
Medium: Venue design
Where: The Picturehouse lawn, Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 S. Ninth St.
On the surface, this fort-like structure mimics a beehive, but look closer and find the work of artists from around the country.

On the surface, this fort-like structure mimics a bee’s hive, but look closer and you’ll find the artwork of 13 artists from around the country.

A network of more than 20 artists known as SPORE created the “Migratory Hive Project.” The public will have a chance to be a part of the artwork’s creation by using items like wood and fabric to add to the structure’s exterior.

The concept for the Migratory Hive Project is an amalgamation of ideas that came in part from the project’s organizer Emily Hemeyer. “Bees I think are a very collectively minded insect group,” she says.

SPORE began five years ago in St. Louis as a collective for artists. Says Hemeyer: “SPORE is kind of about connecting those people to people who maybe want to be a part of something larger than just their own individual work.” 

SPORE creates events, galleries and venues that have taken the form of everything from festivals to the back of a minivan. What often ties SPORE projects together is that contributions are whole. “I really like the aspect of working with other people and the process of making art versus the product sometimes,” Hemeyer says.

An ambitious endeavour, this exploratory and interactive installation will prove to be just as rewarding as the process.

Artist: Sarah and Sasha Goodnow
Medium: Sculpture
Where: The Picturehouse lobby
These 8-foot-tall pods will incorporate various materials, including yarn, plastic and different fabrics. Guests will be able to walk inside and sit in special chairs that the Goodnows have also created.

Artist: Nathan Truesdell, Sam Spencer, Steve Rice, Rick Agran, Nick Michael, Chelsea Myers and the MU Micro-Doc class
Medium: Videography
Where: The Picturehouse
Returning for its second year, the Giant Portrait Project comes together with the work of numerous videographers, including several MU students. Six large screens in the theater will project various video portraits, each only a few seconds long, of Columbians.

Artist: Tony Irons
Medium: Photography
Where: Ragtag Cinema gallery
This series of photographs showing various landscapes of Palm Springs, Calif., is on display at Ragtag.

Artist: Nathan Truesdell
Medium: Photography
Where: Ragtag Cinema gallery
Watch photos of the artist in which he asked random strangers to physically pick him up. Each moment has been photographed in progress. Take a look at the photos, and try to guess how the situation played out.

Artist: Tracy Greever-Rice
Medium: Venue design
Where: The Blue Note lobby
After a workshop with fellow artist Bob Hartzell, Greever-Rice has made small, coneshaped lamps and placed them in a shadow box and lit to look as if they’re under water.

Artist: Bob Hartzell
Medium: Venue design
Where: The Blue Note theater
A True/False veteran, Hartzell brings back his lamps that he makes out of dowel rods, tissue paper and glue.

Artist: Brian Doss and Gabe Meyer
Medium: Mixed
Where: SE corner of Ninth & Cherry
This trash bin-turned-home comes paired with a wooden roof completely wrapped in discarded, ironed plastic grocery bags. This installation challenges traditional ideas of the home.

Artist: Brian Doss and Gabe Meyer
Medium: Venue design
Where: Tonic, 122 S. Ninth St.
Doss and Meyer trade in a trash container to create a space for dancing and video projections. In a night full of festivities, don’t miss the art all around you.

Artist: Greg Orloff
Medium: Sculpture
Where: Missouri Theatre lobby, 203
S. Ninth St.
LUMEN, a 7-foot-tall robot made of found parts, previously served as the mascot for Ragtag’s 2012 Kickstarter campaign. Now on loan for True/False, LUMEN can power down and relax.

Artist: True/False’s Anarchic
Production Wedge
Medium: Venue design
Where: Missouri Theatre lobby
As the name suggests, the theater will host a tree composed almost entirely of birdhouses. They will be stacked and placed upon each other in ways that appear impossible. The lighted tree has a complex root system covered in copper.

Artist: Madeline Carl, Audrey
Keiffer and Gabrielle Parish
Medium: Venue design
Where: The old Pasta Factory, corner of Broadway and Hitt St.
Viewers have the chance to get closer to nature with giant termite mounds made of papier-mâché and an 8-foot-tall bird’s nest made of wood, vines and chicken wire. True/False favorite Barb the Buffalo returns, covered entirely in black and white keyboard keys this year.

Artist: Lee Elementary School
Medium: Sculpture
Where: Hittsville lawn

Photo courtesy of Ann Mehr

An addition to the giant T/F sign this year, magnetic insects with X-ray wings have found a temporary home. People are encouraged to pick one up and give them a more permanent residence.

Artist: Camellia Cosgray
Medium: Sculpture
Where: Globe Theater, First Presbyterian Church, 16 Hitt St.
Cosgray makes geography infinitely more interesting with a flat map of the world composed of tissue paper and glue. The vivid blue map is lighted, creating an effect that mimics stained glass.

Artist: Gabrielle Parish
Medium: Venue design
Where: Globe Theater
Telephone communication is explored with a tin-can phone booth and phone stanchions in this display that is part aesthetic and part logistical.

Artist: Michael Marcum
Medium: Sculpture
Where: Forrest Theater, Tiger Hotel, 23 S. Eighth St.
Playing off the name of this True/False venue, Marcum continues to expand his metal birch forest and adds new works to this yearly festival tradition.

Chicago-based artist Theresa Vishnevetskaya has spent the past few months repurposing a giant organ that she found in the trash.

Photo Courtesy of Theresa Vishnevetskaya

On display at Odd Fellows Lodge, the organ is about 5 feet tall and covered in brown faux fur that Vishnevetskaya sewed together herself. The organ itself is not visible. Instead, a hole inside allows festival-goers to reach in and play the instrument. This hole is lighted with a spectrum of colors that change throughout its display.

Vishnevetskaya also added movement to the instrument. “Organ No. 2” includes a breathing mechanism within the piece that makes the organ pulsate like a living, breathing organism. “It’s a trippy experience,” Vishnevetskaya says.

Although Vishnevetskaya is happy to have been invited to the True/False Film Fest, it came as a bit of a surprise. Her husband, a film critic, is usually the one getting these kinds of invitations.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I’m special, too,” she says, laughing.

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