Twenty Years of Modern Communication

Storyteller and provocateur Terry Allen puts the “multi” in multimedia artist. Through his work as a visual artist, songwriter, musician, performer, writer and filmmaker, Allen is known for conveying his humorous views and fierce irony through a range of artistic media.

Allen’s Modern Communication was installed in front of the City Communications Center in 1995 and, with the addition of the new boardroom at Police Headquarters in 2014, was recently reinstalled some 20 feet away from its original location—still near the entry of the City’s Communications Center. The sculpture is located in the breezeway between Police Headquarters and the Municipal Court building, mid-block on Locust between 11th and 12th Streets east of City Hall.

Believing that artwork should “raise questions,” Allen’s Modern Communication is part of a series of bronze businessmen that provide a tongue-in-cheek social commentary in the public realm. The realistic figurative sculpture, standing atop a briefcase with a necktie covering his eyes, fingers in his ears and a shoe in his mouth, is oblivious to the world around him. And, with the remarkable rise in digital technology and social media since 1995, in many ways, the artwork seems even more relevant today.

The Belger Arts Center will host a Terry Allen exhibition titled Possible Impossible now through Saturday, May 2 in the third floor gallery at 2100 Walnut St.

About The Author: Porter Arneill

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