Following the production of An Enemy of the People, the Department of Art’s Spring 2014 Interdisciplinary Lecture Series will invite the perspectives of art, science and industry in order to explore the plot of Ibsen’s play and the quests of his characters who must grapple with a civic dilemma that has profoundly tragic dimensions alongside issues raised by the artwork of Chad Erpelding. The predicament the Lecture Series panel confronts makes Ibsen’s play as topical today as it was in the late 1890s. When the discovery is made that the water of the hot baths that attract tourist to their Norwegian town is poison and bound to cause disease and even death, Ibsen’s characters choose to jeopardize the welfare of the tourists by hiding the truth. Their 19th century dilemma exemplifies a similar one experienced in the present day by stockholders of the tourist industries that surround Grand Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. When it was recently discovered that nutrient run off from agricultural and urban areas had contaminated the waters of these Midwestern playgrounds with outbreaks of blue-green algae at Grand Lake and ecoli at Lake of the Ozarks, thereby jeopardizing the health of the tourists geared up for summer holidays; many industry officials, just like Ibsen’s characters, were also guilty of hiding the truth.
Chad Erpelding, Associate Professor of Art and Graduate Program Director from Boise State University will exhibit Living in a Corporate World. Erpelding is interested in “the movement of people, business, and organizations, and the effect this has on contemporary perceptions of place.” He emphasizes globalization’s role in producing greater connectivity between increasingly complex environments through political systems, urban/suburban development, individual travel, and international business organizations. His work along with participants from PSU Departments of Biology, Sociology, Geography, Communication, Psychology and industry representatives will discuss what causes the inconvenient truths of our time. The dialogue will address environment sustainability issues, the civic and ethical duties involved in the maintenance of democracy and, finally, from a sociological and psychological perspective, what it is about the human condition that motivates people to lie.
The artist will hold a public lecture as part of this semester's Interdisciplinary Lecture Series, Monday March 3rd, at 7:00pm in room 103 of Porter Hall.
The University Gallery is located inside Porter Hall on the campus of Pittsburg State University. Gallery Hours are from 8am-5:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 8am-4:30pm Friday.