June 4, 2021 – June 27, 2021
ISMSISM is a multi-media meta-narrative installation, incorporating video, sculpture, audio interviews, text, and music, exploring the diverse array of belief systems humans have created throughout recorded history, the subtle yet pervasive influence they have on our lives, and the conflicts and harmonies that occur at the intersections and interactions of multiple systems of belief.
Our lives are continuously shaped and informed by ISMS, those belief systems to which we adhere or with which we align, whether they have been imposed upon us, or if we have adopted them for ourselves. They inform our perspectives and opinions, our choices, our thoughts, words, and actions, as well as our relationship to the world in general and with others in particular.
At birth, we are all pre-loaded with many ISMS that have been determined for us by others. Some provided by the family we are born into, through the religious or political beliefs of our parents, and their desire to raise their children within that same system. Other ISMS are imposed on us through the larger societal and cultural environments we are raised within. Because these systems have been determined for us, we are fully acclimated to them from a young age. Therefore, they are as ubiquitous to us as our five senses; what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. They are how we have always perceived the world. They seem inherent, innate. As a result, we rarely reflect on the reasons why we hold the beliefs we do, versus why others hold different beliefs, failing to acknowledge the involuntary nature, and lack of agency, implicit in the demographics of our birth.
However, as we grow and mature, we are exposed to other systems of belief, and we adopt new systems, and apply them to our lives. Often these new systems are new terminology added to our modern lexicon, identifying newly formed systems that arise in response or retaliation to existing, though perhaps obsolete, inaccurate systems. These new systems can either challenge or reinforce the systems we were initially raised within.
To explore the relationships we have to systems of belief, I have created my own system of belief about systems of belief. I have taken 180 different ISMS, and broken them out into five distinct categories, Religion, Politics, Philosophy, Sociology, and Art. These five categories are then tied to the Five Platonic Solids, which Plato suggested symbolize the basic building blocks of life, the five elements, Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Aether, respectively.
Through interviews conducted with a small group of creative individuals from within my personal artistic community, I have constructed a collage of individual experiences, demonstrating the similarity and diversity of belief systems that exist, even within a small group. While this small group possess a number of different cultures and backgrounds, it is not a proportional representation of global society, but rather a regional and personally connected subset. A microcosm, representing the creative community in which I exist and participate.
-Eric Nord, Artist
Public Hours: Thursdays through Sundays, 12:00pm – 6:00pm.
Opening Reception: Friday, June 4 from 5:00pm – 10:00pm. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, we will be operating with 20 guests inside at a time. Masks required.
Understudy is free-to-visit and open to all.
Eric Nord is a composer, performer, visual artist, poet, and curator, who relocated to Colorado in 2002, from New York City. He graduated from the Academy of Performing and Visual Arts in Chicago, attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from the University of Denver. His visual artwork has been featured in group exhibitions at Leon Gallery, Redline Contemporary Art, Vicki Myhren Gallery, and the McNichol’s Building as part of Arthyve’s “Archives as Muse” program. His theatrical works have been produced Off-Broadway, and workshopped at The New York Shakespeare Festival. His music compositions include numerous songs, several Musicals, an Opera based on Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), and a Song Cycle of E. E. Cummings poems titled, Unrealities, that was performed at the New York Public Library in 1994 as part of the E. E. Cummings Centennial Celebration. He currently serves as Executive Director of Leon Nonprofit Arts Organization in Denver, CO.
Understudy is located at the Colorado Convention Center / Theatre District light rail stop near 14th and Stout. Look for the Shantell Martin art bench.