Mixed Messages

'Chimeras' helps Bemis Center reopen with a ‘blur’ of media, vision and reality


An internationally diverse group exhibit by female artists, Chimeras, reopens the Bemis Center Thursday, Feb. 2nd from 6-9 p.m., after a long respite this winter. This exhibit, which continues until April 29, is curated by Risa Puleo, Bemis Center’s new (and first ever) Curator-in residence.

The ubiquitous notion of Chimera — the joining of two or more, cells, limbs, species, and/or mythological monsters into one — goes back to Homer and probably beyond to the first “stories” shared by humans. The Chimera started life, as far as we know, as a mythological female beast; part lion, part fire-breathing goat, and part serpent.

Appearing in everything from poetry and story telling to cinema and music, Chimera now includes any entity of mixed species or modern scientific classifications of mixed cells and DNA, to intriguing pairings with technology, society and culture.

Modern uses of the term now stretch it to an adjective and verb describing the fantastic, improbable and unrestrained. This exhibit “explores how the presumably fixed categories of technology, animal, and human are increasingly challenged and blurred in contemporary society.”

Chimeras runs concurrent with two other provocative shows, Cassils: The Phantom Revenant and Paula Wilson: The Backward Glance. The Feb. 2 opening for all three shows features an artist talk at 6 p.m. More information for all three can be found at the website for the Bemis Center, bemiscenter.org, or by phoning 402-341


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