Some of history’s greatest works of art have stood in marble halls and grand cathedrals, hardly changed from their ancient beginnings. But some art was meant to fall apart. Some art was made to grow.
BYU art students, along with other artists, combined talents to create a new and unusual exhibit, “Things Fall Apart,” coming to the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo on Oct. 11.
Elizabeth Pusey, co-curator of the exhibit and art history student at BYU, said she and the other curators wanted to help others become more familiar with durational art, which describes the nature of the art pieces in the exhibit.
“The whole point of our show is to help people think about what lasts in their life, what memories are, what kinds of things are permanent and what they could do to make those things permanent,” she said. “The art will still be there after our opening event, but it won’t be the same and it will deteriorate over time.”
Melissa Swan, one of the contributing artists and an art student at BYU, explained her art in the exhibit. Her geometric chalk drawings will wash away with the elements over the next several months.
“My work refers to language; it’s a visual vocabulary,” she said. “It will disintegrate a little or a lot, which happens to language in a sense. I’ll be providing chalk for the viewers so they can interact, color in and make new shapes. Some things will wash away, but people can add to it, and that’s what happens to language in sense.”
Brooke Carpenter, a BYU art student who helped curate the exhibit, explained how she and her fellow students wanted the exhibit to be interactive to viewers.
“It’s kind of like street art but more organized, with a focus that explores the idea of leaving something alone, or how ideas and memories develop and change over time,” she said. “Things fall apart, but things are also evolving and turning into something new, just like nature.”
Carpenter explained how one artist made speakers out of biodegradable material. The music from the speakers will eventually die out, along with the speakers themselves, which will fall apart.
“The coolest part about it is that it shows how it’s important to nurture parts of your life,” she said. “When you do nurture parts of your life, either your memory or language. Depending on how you nurture it, it is going to react differently.”
The artists and students said they are excited about the exhibit for the Provo community. What they created is unlike anything else in the city. The exhibit will stay at the Covey Center until it completely falls apart, worn from visitors coming again and again along with the natural elements of rain and water.
“We’ve been given an opportunity that we normally don’t have with each other,” Carpenter said. “It’s an opportunity in Provo to have a free-for-all with art.”