is an ongoing, collaborative artistic investigation by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski. Through their artwork, they address issues of community and document people surviving in cities all over the world. Prior to this Philagrafika project, the primary medium of this exploration has been the freely-distributed and critically acclaimed print publication Megawords.
Philagrafika, in partnership with the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks: Contemporary Projects, is pleased to present the self titled project Megawords, a site specific installation by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski, at Landmarks’ Powel House Museum. Curated by Robert Wuilfe, This will be the first exhibition of contemporary art in the unique and important historic space since the 1770’s.
In their exhibition, Murphy and Smyrski will take advantage of the visual grandeur of the 18th century structure as a stark contrast to the modern urban imagery of their continuing Megawords project. By projecting photographs and video within the house, audiences will enter an immersive environment in which a reconstructed version of the past meets the reality of the present. By taking contemporary art out of the “white cube” of a typical gallery or museum, the installation will provide a surprising, accessible context for an audience experience. Philagrafika and Megawords are using printmaking to link Philadelphia’s modern urban life and its historic past to demonstrate the power of art and provide a new way of seeing the world.
In addition to the exhibition, Philagrafika will host a free public panel discussion which will examine the way the medium of print is ideally suited to communicate issues of history, social class and the urban environment to contemporary audiences. The discussion will include the artists Murphy and Smyrski and they will be joined by: Alex Baker, Ph.D., Curator of Contemporary Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Artist and author Steven Powers, aka Espo; Photographer and Whitney Biennial participant Zoe Strauss.
This project is made possible by the generous support of the Humanities-and-the-Arts initiative, administered by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and funded principally by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, Solutions for Progress, and the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks.