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Stark-image_smIn 2009, Maggie Stark (Visual Arts faculty) received a fellowship to study German culture at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. Her fellowship coincided with the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Maggie’s observations of the public events and historical discourse surrounding the anniversary provided a conceptual framework for her new exhibit, Still/Time.

Still/Time—through video, sculpture and photography—uses representations of childhood playground play to examine the implications and associations of the Wall before and after its fall. Playground play is a primal vehicle for humans to work out fundamental dualities—you/me, inside/outside, here/there. These dualities appear writ large in the complex divisions and the personal, social and political meanings created by partitions like the Berlin Wall.

The primary motif of the exhibition’s first video, Wall/Play, is the hopscotch board. Unlike the game hopscotch, which produces an oppositional winner and loser,Wall/Play’s players/adversaries are locked in a joint effort to illuminate and extinguish pre-existing patterns. The second work, Still/Time, explores the delicate balance between players/adversaries—me/you, here/there, up/down—by investigating variations on the motif of the “seesaw.” Like a musical fugue, the piece progresses and repeats as it winds its way through time. Integral to both works are light, sound, movement, and the interdependence of two performers.

Still/Play opens at Gallery Kayafas in Boston on Friday, May 17, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will run Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., until Saturday, June 22.

“I am grateful for the generous support of colleagues from Milton Academy,” says Maggie, “and I give special thanks to graduates Samara Bliss ’09, Lexy Copithorn ’10 and Emilie Stark-Menneg ’02 for their contributions and performances in the videos.”