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Encyclopedia, Selected By Brittany Kieler (online exhibition)

About the exhibition

This group is a visual catalogue that spans a broad range of forms and ideas. Each work is paired with a letter from the English alphabet.

Having sifted through the 5,000 or so pieces in NIAD’s collection, my personal selections seemed somewhat arbitrary. I have affinities for certain colors, ways of making a mark, and attitudes in a piece. After going through everything, I had a list of 77 that I wanted to include. I thought an additional method was needed to organize these things, so I used the English alphabet. Beginning with A, I chose a work to pair with each of the 26 letters.

The main thing that unites these is the way that none has a lot in common with the others. Each seems to follow its own logic to its own end. If we fully commit to one, it could lead us away from everything else. Each one is deserving of careful thought, but different people will be attracted to different work. For me, this kind of democratic collection of disparate ideas is like an encyclopedia.

Because many of these pieces are untitled, they sort of detach themselves from language. So in pairing each with a letter, I’m hoping that the letter will be like a prompt – like, if you want to spend time with this piece, here’s a place to start.

About the selector

Brittany Kieler received an MFA with a Graduate Minor in Museum Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2018. Her work can be found in a number of collections across the country, including Special Collections at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. She has been an artist in residence at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and has received fellowships for her research of the Nazca Lines in Peru, sheela na gigs in the United Kingdom, and reflexive curation in the United States. In 2016 she co-curated and produced (with her partner, AJ Nordhagen) SIGHTINGS; an exhibition, online archive, and printmaking suite that includes 30 American artists. She is currently based in Minneapolis, MN, where she serves as Gallery Archivist & Collections Manager at Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Her work can be found at brittanykieler.com.