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James Brenner

2014 Open Studio Fellowship Artists

North Star Big Dipper Constellation Performance Pour

2' x 40' x 35'
Cast Iron, Basalt Stone

Artist Statement
The specific cast iron performance event Jim designed for Franconia Sculpture Park is called The North Star Pour. The performance is an alignment of myth, art and process. Eight stars will light up the night with molten metal in celebration of the autumnal equinox, or Michaelmas Festival. The stars represented will include the North Star and the seven brightest stars of the constellation Ursa Major (The Big Dipper). The cast iron and fire will symbolize the unification of the seven continents under the guidance of the North Star and the joining of heaven and earth. A processional of torch carriers and star casters will simultaneously pour the stars and ignite a fire outlining the constellation.
Jim’s intent with this project is to capture the power and spectacle of iron casting through performance. The physical nature of molten iron, and the social structure of cast iron artists, demonstrate the performative potential of a cast iron event or performance. The overall context of collaboration among the cast iron community is vital to the process, weaving a social fabric that enables the resulting sculptural objects. In this case, the process of iron casting is equally if not more important than the final product as the participants and observers alike become interlaced within the memory of this event.
Jim Brenner is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

James Brenner

Born Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Resides Currently Resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

• University of Minnesota, BFA, 1995
• School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA, 1997

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