This is Paul Halupka
About the Exhibition
In today's content-starved society of the "24 hour news cycle," it is not unusual to see reality shows and headlines hyper-focused on "unexceptional" people—but what about an art exhibition? Re-creating this model within the context of the art world, This is Paul Halupka is an exhibition of artworks about one person—a young man named Paul Halupka, a near stranger from the curator's past. Though not legitimized by media or celebrity culture, Paul's identity has been ushered into a spotlight and granted symbolic value in the form of an art exhibition.
Curator Jessica Cochran asked 13 emerging and mid-career artists to get to know Paul Halupka in order to create work in dialogue with his identity. Embracing less representational approaches to portraiture in favor of more discursive ones, artists' projects reflect poetic and relational approaches to the depiction of Paul's identity through painting, sculpture, video, photography and mixed media installation.
The resulting exhibition reveals the ways that artists mediate subjectivity in complex ways that reveal perception of the other as both felt and learned. The exhibition makes way for a speculative experience that engenders a more complex consideration of not only Paul, but of how representations of identity circulate within spheres of communication, social networks and society in general.
Michael X. Ryan
Mary Lou Zelazny
Foumberg, Jason. Named top five in "State of the Art Exhibitons" for 2011. Newcity, December, 2011
Apple, Lauri. "Regular Guy Inspires This is Paul Halupka" Chicago Reader, July 30, 2011.