Conversion by Ann Rose Tiggoni

December 3, 1999

The Fugitive Art Center presents Conversion, an installation by Anne Rose Tiggoni. The exhibit opens Saturday, December 11th, 1999, and continues through the 15th of January, 2000. An opening reception will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11th.

Conversion explores the consumerism of conceptual art and the effect that it has had in the latter part of the 20th century. Conversion is designed to evoke positive and negative reactions towards the acceptance of purely intellectual conceptualism. This exhibit uses Twinkies™ to draw parallels between the effects of Mad Cow Disease on brain tissue and the state of conceptualism in today’s market-driven art scene.

Scientists have found that there are two types of proteins in brains affected by Mad Cow Disease. One is a normal protein found in all mammals. The other is a disease-causing form of the protein that is chemically identical to the original, normal protein. This new protein has the ability to change normal proteins that it comes into contact with, turning them into a chemically identical disease-causing form of the protein. This is not a process of replication; It is a process of conversion. Much like the proteins that cause mad cow disease, the Twinkie™ is a resilient material. The use of Twinkies™ and their conversion to a blue hue is symbolic of the change in the art-market from that of an open forum to one of ephemeral intellectualization. The conversion of this contemporary food product is a fitting iconographic symbol of the effect of commercialism on conceptual art.

Anne Rose Tiggoni is a native of Kansas City, MO, the home of Hostess& Twinkies™. Ms. Tiggoni received her B.F.A. from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1988. Ms. Tiggoni currently resides in Nashville, TN.