Day 7 > Scott Turri

The Longing Ritual – 4:10 TRT

Throughout my career, the concept of synthesis has been central to my work. Perhaps because of my natural curiosity and a wide range of interests, there has always been a desire to somehow cobble together an assortment of components by transforming and fusing the parts to create something that is hopefully greater than its sum. This is an exercise that I repeat within a changing set of variables. It is a cycle where the intersecting spheres of history, personal history, and art history become the raw material for outcomes. Output is generated from snippets derived from our visual language, which are transformed by technology and then spliced together digitally. These snippets like samples; either found and manipulated or created, become parts which function as my set of variables. The source material is generated from my private and public domain including digitally manipulated photographs taken from both the natural and built environment.

Most recently, in my latest series The Longing Ritual the focus has been on the nature/culture continuum, in particular the search for real experience and a connection to the natural world. By using imagery from various personal rituals connected to cycles of repetitive behavior; the work represents a synthetic place where barriers interfere with direct experience. Photography, film, now virtual worlds are often the substitute and have become the closest we can get to the real thing. My work is meant to mimic this phenomenon. I am deeply interested in how as a culture we see through these different lenses including photography, film and the digital device. Because my imagery is either invented, altered, and or taken out of its original context, it then functions in a realm that is not solely dependent on its connection to language. So, although the work is grounded in place, the experience for the audience is more ephemeral. It is linked to the nature of memory and how we construct meaning and identity from our personal and cultural history and how it gets embedded through the natural and built environment. I create worlds in which altered fragments from my existing landscape are pieced together. These territories then become activated and foster a dialogue between different sequences which produce a nonlinear, poetic narrative.

The interplay between real spaces and invented spaces is intended to give the viewer the ability to align themselves within the familiar, yet forces them to reorient themselves inside the new construct. These places reflect my need to reclaim the private space, which stems from my desire to protect and control how my private self is portrayed in an ever increasingly public world. Therefore, by synthesizing the public and private I intend to open up a pathway into my own internally constructed world. As a result, to maintain my privacy, I am intentionally veiling and concealing that world through abstraction and computer manipulated imagery. For me the result is the creation of my sanctuary.

SCOTT TURRI: Hailing from suburban Philadelphia, where he spent his formative years, Turri now calls Pittsburgh home and has become enmeshed in the regional art community. He has had a range of artistic experiences: from punk rock to a performance art band, writing for New Art Examiner, BOMB and Afterimage magazines, work in video, to currently concentrating primarily on painting and animation. His work has been shown nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards, including a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship Award in Painting. Turri’s work has been featured in many solo exhibitions including: the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA, Estel Gallery, Nashville, TN, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, and Fe Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, with favorable press including a review of his work in Art in America. Along with his painting practice Turri also is an educator and begins a full-time lecturer position at the University of Pittsburgh, Fall 2017. For the last seventeen years, he has relied extensively on a computer based method of working using computer software to create still images. These images are used as models for exact larger scaled painted replicas having worked through six major series; he is presently working on the seventh, The Longing Ritual.

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