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Robert Villamagna

Talk to Me: Real Words from Real People

2010

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Curated by Katherine Talcott

Artist Statement

As a kid, I looked forward to the carnivals that would arrive in the Ohio River valley every spring. While I loved the rides and games of chance, it was the sideshow that I found most intriguing. As he stood against a wall of freaks illustrated on huge stretches of canvas, the barker would yell out, “They’re alive.... on the inside!” This combination of the visual and the oral, and its impact on my childhood, is the seed of my Gestures piece. Every day of my life I am hearing tens of thousands of words spoken to me, or I am overhearing words directed towards others. Throughout my life, many of these statements have found a place in my memory banks. Talk to Me: Real Words from Real People is about those word groups that I remember. Why is it that out of this endless bombardment of words, I remember these words? Why have these particular statements stuck with me? At a given time, these quotes may have struck me as profound, painful, funny, or just plain weird. These words have come out of the mouths of my family, friends, students, acquaintances, and complete strangers. As for the figures you see in front of you making the statements, I like to think that they might be connected to those people painted on the sideshow banners from my youth. Freaks, perhaps, but their words are all real.

Exhibition

Gestures 14: May 8 – June 20, 2010
About The Artist

Robert Villamagna is a mixed-media artist. He received a BS from Franciscan University and later attended Wright State University for a MAT. Robert teaches at West Liberty University in West Virginia, and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

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