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Yes.Oui.Si and 'Perpetual In-terra-action' bring renaissance in interactive art

Posted by Alex Pearlman  November 14, 2011 05:23 PM

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perpetual in-terra-action adrian molina.jpgBy Christine Varriale

Tucked behind a Wentworth park in the Fenway area is Yes.Oui.Si Space, a quaint, DIY art gallery that’s exactly what Boston needs right now. The space and those involved with its operation and exhibits -- like the current Perpetual In-terra-action -- are reminding art enthusiasts how the creative environment is evolving in this economy and society.

Yes.Oui.Si began with an idea from co-founders Miguel de Braganza, Olivia Ives-Flores, and Adrian Molina, the artist behind Perpetual In-terra-action, who had been hosting pop-up art shows around the city, giving local artists in their collaborative somewhere to showcase their creativity. “Wouldn’t it be great to find a home base?” after three years of temporary locations, de Braganza thought -- and so Yes.Oui.Si was born in February of this year.

adrian molina yes.oui.si space.jpgThe gallery’s mission is to “create a sustainable space to give creative people an outlet…engage collectors…[and] link music fans to bands,” de Braganza told me when I went to check out Molina’s exhibit, which opened Friday with a public ceremony featuring live music. For example, YOS’s “clubhouse,” as de Braganza called it -- an outside space containing a few works-in-progress -- speaks to the first piece of that mission: It’s a spot for artists to hang out, get inspired, and work on their latest projects, he said.

Both de Braganza and Molina -- who I quickly noticed resembles his exhibit’s self-portrait, mustache and all -- agree that Boston’s art culture is somewhat fragmented. But one of their goals is to create collaboration between different forms of art. Another goal is to “give emerging artists another venue to shoot for outside of their school,” Molina said, because artists don’t necessarily learn all of the logistical skills to getting their art shown while in school.

One of my favorite parts of Yes.Oui.Si is the interactivity of the space. “[We] allow [the] viewer to go a lot further than just looking," de Braganza said. "[We’re] able to get viewers to talk to artists.”

Emittime Adrian Molina.jpgMolina's exhibit exemplifies that hands-on experience. The main piece of the exhibit is a 70-foot-long scroll, entitled Emittime, which sits on a large machine that Molina built and requires two people to operate. We spun from the beginning of time to the end, discussing the meaning behind each of the scroll’s sections, from the beginning of language and human thought, to the evolution of nature and civilization, to the ideas of space and time in the future. The piece’s underlying ideas are time and thought, which have always been and always will be evident in society.

Molina’s knowledge of history, time, space, and physics is fascinating, as is how it all comes forward in his work. His father was a self-taught physicist and theologist who has inspired him since he was young, he said.

Perhaps it was that deep conversation that got me thinking about the state of art today. Fewer people are buying art these days, de Braganza said, so we have to reevaluate the environment in which art exists. Because art is less consumer-driven, galleries and exhibits are becoming much more social spaces; their places in society are more about bringing the art, viewers and artists together in one place rather than just being spots to go look at pretty things.

Yes.Oui.Si. and galleries like it -- and the people behind them, like de Braganza and Molina -- are playing an integral part in evolving the art world into a modern social setting.

Perpetual In-terra-action is showing at Yes.Oui.Si. until Dec. 22. Check the gallery’s website, event calendar, Twitter, and Facebook for more information.

Photos courtesy of Yes.Oui.Si

About Christine -- I'm a music blogger with passions for photography and movies. You can usually find me at Paradise Rock Club or The Avenue. My goal in life is to become Lindsay Lohan's best friend. Twitter: @certaintragedy

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