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MK Guth: Ties of Protection and Safe Keeping at Boise Art Museum
Detail of the MK Guth work Ties of Protection and Safekeeping.

BOISE.- Ties of Protection and Safe Keeping is a 1,500-foot interactive braid sculpture created by Oregon artist MK Guth. Woven into the braid are hundreds of ribbons on which people have written responses to the question “What is worth protecting?” This sculpture was created for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2008 Biennial art exhibition in New York City and will have its first museum presentation in Boise after the close of its New York debut.

MK Guth is a multidisciplinary artist working in video, sculpture and performative social exchange projects. Guth motivated by ideas of transformation, desire and risk. Her work derives from an interest in how the themes and metaphors from myths and pre-existing stories can be reshaped to reflect and engage in contemporary and personal concerns. Through the use of digital manipulation, humor, and the construction of hybrid characters she formulates an imagined site based on the mythic construct. In this imagined space she inserts additional content into the myth in order to reconfigure it, thereby creating shifts and displacements in our perception.

Much of her work involves some form of interaction. This may occur in the form of soliciting information that becomes part of a new piece or creating sites of collaborative production. It may occur in the form of public exchange and shared storytelling as in the Red Shoe Delivery Service Project or it may occur in a lenticular photo where the viewer must move physically to fully see the image. Guth is not interested in simply documenting these interactive experiences, rather, these experiences become the materials to create new works.

Reviewer Barbara Pollock described Guth’s video I Want To Hold Your Hand as brilliant in February 2003 ART NEWS. Her work has been touted in other periodicals including Flash Art, New Art Examiner and Art in America. She has received a Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award administered through Seattle Art Museum and an Award of Merit from the Bellevue Art Museum. Guth received a project commission from the Portland Institute for the Arts (PICA) in March of 2000 and a project commission from the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2005. She has exhibited with numerous galleries and institutions including, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, Australia, Nottdance Festival, England, Swiss Institute, NYC, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, PDX, Betty Moody Houston TX, White Columns, NYC, Artists Space, NYC, Side Street projects in LA, Catherine Clark in San Francisco and the Henry Art Museum, Seattle. Guth’s video has screened both nationally and internationally. Guth is a member and the originator of RED SHOE DELIVERY SERVICE, a collaborative interactive video / performance project (with Molly Dilworth and Cris Moss).

She received her BA in Sociology from the University of Madison Wisconsin and her MFA from NYU.

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