The Paragraph is Panick-stricken — and it’s a good thing.

Time to Panick 

The Paragraph is Panick-stricken — and it’s a good thing.

Jared Panick has a problem with artists' egos. "I see shows all the time, and there are always 'featured artists.' Their name is big -- their name is huge," he says. "It's like it's the name that makes people take an interest instead of the artwork or the concept or the actual ideas going on there."

The Paragraph intern and senior in Kansas City Art Institute's printmaking department (who also writes for Review magazine and is the gallery assistant at the H&R Block Artspace) wants to change that, starting with his first solo curatorial effort, Emergency Eyewash. Printmakers Jacob Sharp, Alex Schubert, Chika Tamba and Bob Glinn -- three of whom are also Art Institute students -- had a week to complete their installations; at 5 p.m. May 17, they stopped. At that point, an anonymous syndicate of four other artists intervened, covertly manipulating those original installations to make a bold statement about cooperation and control.

"Collaboration happens a lot, particularly in printmaking," Panick explains. "You're constantly having to share computers, work space, inks. You're constantly around other people's artwork. I guess I wanted to change it up by adding the idea of blind collaboration, the idea of taking the control away from the artist."

The show's elements are tangled and layered enough on their own, the featured artists working independently but together on one show, the anonymous artists teaming up as a separate and independent entity, and Panick working as a bridge between the two groups and again as the connection between both groups and the public. Then there's the confusion of the actual outcome to consider.

Panick hopes visitors won't know whether to look at the walls or the spaces between the works of art. "It should be confusing," he says. But that lets viewers decide who are the featured artists.

In other words, he says, "I'd like Emergency Eyewash to be a complete eye fuck."

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