Mike Calway-Fagen is an artist, writer, and curator based in Athens, GA. He received a BFA from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. In the past year Mike opened solo exhibitions at Ditch Projects in Oregon, Lipscomb University in Tennessee, and a two-person project at the Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, LAXArt in Los Angeles, and NurtureArt in Brooklyn. Mike has attended residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, The Fine Arts Work Center, and Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. His recent curatorial projects include, Sounds Like, State Park and First Person in Indianapolis, IN, San Diego, CA and Nashville, TN respectively. Mike’s essays and reviews can be found in a number of publications including the online platforms Temporary Art Review and BurnAway. His solo show, Starry Speculative Corpse, opens at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada in October of this year.
During a sketch comedy performance an actor follows a script and is expected to perform in tune, with eventual laughter the outcome. At times, not everything goes as planned. These professionals stumble, they break character, and even laugh at their own botched attempt at mastery. They become unstuck, they are neither performer nor audience and aren't laughed at or with. They are something entirely different. When we laugh as Gilda Radnor can't hold it together we experience what collective vulnerability is, how frail the body and mind are, and how redeeming empathic embarrassment is.
The fourth wall splits audience and actor creating codeified spaces and performances. Reality really is a membrane and these two seemingly disparate entities spit back and forth, exchanging information, materials, and impacts.
I re-approach all things with this in mind. How might a sculpture, video, photo, collage, or whatever stumble right along with the viewer, breaths held, eyes open.