IAN BREIDENBACH

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In 2018, the Neon Heater Art Gallery was about to enter its 7th year of presenting exhibitions; to celebrate, the curators set out on an ambitious project to connect with other artist-run spaces around the country and create a series of exhibitions tied together through a conceptual narrative framework.

 

The Temperature was a series of 25 exhibitions held between September 2018 and May 2019 in an attempt to assess the socio-political landscape of the country and the art world during that time and offer possible ways to improve it.  Each month of The Temperature consisted of a particular theme (1), slowly building the narrative over the course of the season; providing The Setting in September, populating it with Characters in October, giving them purpose in the Love Story, and Love Story pt. 2 in November and January, introducing a strategy to combat the world's problems in February's The Chess Club, and ultimately concluding the narrative in an unfortunate outbreak of nuclear war in May of 2019. 

 

9 Exhibitions were held at The Neon Heater, with 16 More Taking place at other artist-run galleries (2) of varying size and scale dotted all over the country.  In total, The Temperature featured the work of over 160 artists and curators (3). 

 

The Temperature was an attempt to break down the traditional Single-Medium style of curation.  Instead of an exhibition of paintings, It was an exhibition of paintings and video and photography and sculpture and text...of/and...to allow all media to mingle and create new connections. 

 

As the exhibitions were meant to build a narrative, acting like chapters or plot points, the works within acted like sentences or details.  The works included in the exhibitions were chosen on a conceptual basis, and when broken down to their basic meanings and intentions, and put into context with each other, a story could be formed in the mind of the viewer.  Each work, like a piece of a puzzle; each exhibition, like a chunk of the narrative; all building something larger; subsequent and cumulative.  As such, the narrative that was built was not singular, thousands of different versions could exist depending on how much you saw, or how deep you went. The Temperature became something to exist within, without judgment; No narrative wrong, no Narrative correct.

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