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Artist Profile: Tony Renezema ’21

This week The Round Table sat down with Tony Renezema’21 to chat about his show at Gallery ABBA.

Round Table: Can you tell The Round Table a little about yourself?

Tony Renzema: My name is Tony Renzema, I’m a music and media studies major with an art minor. I play in a number of bands on campus. I’m from Portland, Oregon. I’m a junior, and sushi is my favorite food.

RT: Everyone wants to know what your show at Gallery ABBA will entail. 

TR: The title of my show is “Progress”, and it’s kind of an exploration of the question “What is art?”. In high school, I was required to define poetry, and I couldn’t do it because how do you define something like that? So, I decided to apply that same attention to art and create something that is more interactive. I have all types of art in my show. I have visual art, audio art, art that kind of distorts reality. It is basically a question: what is art and why does it matter?

RT: Was there more behind the story of defining poetry that inspired you to do this project?

TR: It was mostly about never being satisfied with the definition of something. I think definitions, especially when it comes to art, can tend to be finite and basic — a little too general. My show is supposed to make you appreciate art but also think about all the ways it interacts with your body and your senses.

RT: What made you think about having your show at the Gallery ABBA?

TR: Seeing as there aren’t a ton of options for me right now as an art minor, and as a junior, I just applied based on that desire to question “What is art?.” I have always wondered what other people think about art, so being able to have a platform like the Gallery ABBA is really cool. The gallery asked a lot of good questions on the application.

RT: Did you have your concept and had you started anything before you had applied? What did you have? 

TR: After high school, I made a book for a semester in bookmaking class and started putting quotes in it, and that inspired me to start collecting my own art and other things that people say to me that might be considered meaningful or profound– most of I, some of it is a joke. Most of it is a play on the definition in general. Before applying I had some of my photography. I took some photos while I was abroad in England and I edited them when I got back. I also had the projection that I’m going to have ready. It’s about not being able to touch the content and only being able to interact with it with a limited amount of your senses. I took a lot of videos and footage from my time abroad, and it is also a collection of sounds from around Beloit. I got a task cam and kinda just walked around. Last year, I was in inter-arts and I made a trash soundscape where I just recorded random bits of trash and made it into a rhythmic grunge type of presentation of sound, and I paired it with the visual of people handling trash. It was a fun commentary on what we throw away and being able to hear it make all the noises that trash make is pretty cool. I’m trying to do something similar to the genre of sound underneath the projection.

RT: What do you wish to see in your future art?

TR: That’s a big question. I love making art and I’m happiest when I’m creating things. There are so many different things that I love creating; there’s music, painting, photography, movies, you name it. Anything I can make mean something else is fun and meaningful to me. If I have opportunities to do that, I definitely will. A lot of my art is a hobby more than a practice, but I would like to be able to depend on it at some point.    

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