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Artist Kirsten Leenaars creates exhibition about representation and the media for MSU Broad Art Lab

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University presents "The Broadcast," an exhibition considering truth and distortion in the media, on view at the MSU Broad Art Lab Nov. 10, 2019–Apr. 4, 2020.

Visitors are invited to experience a preview of the exhibition from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 before it opens to the public.

The MSU Broad Art Lab is a collaborative space where our diverse community of makers, innovators and lifelong learners can connect with opportunities to create and experiment with art.

In this era of hypermedia production and consumption, whose stories are considered newsworthy? Whose voices are represented? And who do these stories belong to? To answer these questions, Chicago-based artist Kirsten Leenaars embarked on a community-based project with a group of middle and high school youth from the greater Lansing area.

The result of their collective exploration unfolds as a multimedia exhibition through playful yet detailed scenography, planned and impromptu actions, and the production of their own media content.

With "The Broadcast," Leenaars continues her ongoing examination of storytelling, performativity and documentary in contemporary video. Made in close collaboration with the youth participants, who relied on their own lived experiences and imaginations, the resulting exhibition aims to represent the views of their generation more broadly — views that are largely absent from stories spun by the mainstream media.

The presentation of "The Broadcast" in the Art Lab represents a new chapter for the space, reflecting an interest in local engagement and experimentation in the development of exhibitions for the gallery — values which are central to Art Lab’s commitment to the community.

"The Broadcast" is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven Bridges, associate curator, with the guidance and support of the museum’s education team, in particular Meghan Zanskas and Ellie Anderson.

Special thanks to the 12 youth participants, Lansing Public School District and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU, especially Karl Gude, Brian Kusch, Andrew Acciaioli and Brooke Striker, for their assistance with the project.

Kirsten Leenaars is an interdisciplinary video artist based in Chicago. She engages with individuals and communities to create participatory video and performance work. Leenaars examines through her work how we relate to others and explores how through the production of the work itself new forms of relating can be created.