SUNDAY Presents: Bread 2 at The Bakery

 Photo credit: Casey Doran

Photo credit: Casey Doran

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of bread is as follows,” A usually baked and leavened food made of a mixture whose basic constituent is flour or meal.” Baking bread is a task that has been passed down for centuries first as a folktale and then inscribed onto tablets. Bread is one of the pillars that helped to form civilization as we know it. This direct correlation between civilization, artistry, and wealth has lead to the universally symbolic meaning that bread has acquired. Bread is how you make your living. Bread is your quality of life. In Christianity, Catholicism, in particular, bread is said to be literally transformed into the body of Christ once blessed and dipped in the chalice of wine. And American White Bread can symbolize American exceptionalism, opulence and America’s cultural imperialism around the world.  

 Doran's first Bread photo circa December 2016

Doran's first Bread photo circa December 2016

Insert Atlanta photographer Casey Doran, a mild-mannered weirdo with an eye for capturing the casually epic moments of life. On Saturday, February 24th at The Bakery he is having his second show based around, you guessed it...bread. Doran’s photographs explore all the themes and ideas mentioned previously, and many more, but not because he explicitly explains the meaning of his work. Bread’s symbolism is already there. It is ingrained into our daily lives. Doran’s photographs merely shed light on what we already know. They walk this thin line of comedy and conceptualism that allows the audience to both laugh and think deeply about the art they are viewing.

When asked about his thoughts on the photographs Doran merely shrugs off any meaning he could give, preferring to hear what his audience says about his work. “I don’t like giving people the specific meaning because I like them getting what they want out of it. Also when you give people the meaning sometimes it’s melodramatic and not as cool as they thought it would be so I just leave it open,” he told Plasma. Melanie Paulos, Doran’s creative partner in executing the project, added,”I really like things that make me giggle, even if that is not the intention... I think a lot of artists take themselves far too seriously.”

These two sentiments are coming to define Atlanta’s up and coming artists. This aesthetic of goof has been permeating in the art scene for some time, masking serious subject matter in playful and even goofy imagery.

Taking something as mundane, yet universal, as bread allows for an accessibility that isn’t prevalent in mainstream art. Doran and Paulos consider this accessibility vital to their craft, on multiple levels. There is intellectual accessibility which is often impeded when art becomes so conceptual that it loses its meaning, and then there are the monetary barriers.  “People talk about how music and art are important for you to be cultured but then museums are 20 to 30 bucks to get into, plays are $100...art should be accessible,” said Paulos.

Doran also just wants to inspire people to create their own work. “I know so many people that claim they don’t have enough time to make art...So I just want to prove that you can do this stuff. If I can do it, they can.” Doran is already seeing the fruits of his labor. The first Bread show held last year at Murmur was a success, especially considering the whole concept was spawned by a fluke effort at capturing a last minute photo on a film set in December 2016. “I was on a film set and this girl was about to leave but she said we could shoot a photo real quick. There were 12 pieces of bread on the table so we just used that and had a funny conversation about it…Then I messaged Pete [Though] one day and said I wanna do a show called bread.”

 Photo credit: Casey Doran

Photo credit: Casey Doran

Now, Doran is taking his “stupid idea” as far as he can. When asked about how the photo series has developed and the response to them he said,“ It’s definitely religious at this point...A lot of people send me bread photos they found somewhere else.” That religious aspect can be seen in many of the newer pieces as well as the art collective aptly named SUNDAY that Doran, Scott Selmer, Krista Diaz-Gamba and Bobby Lee Palmer have created. Based mostly around photographs, Bread II is the first event the collective is set to host. It will feature twelve visual artists, seven bands, performance art, and installation pieces. Paulos was hesitant to give too many details about her installation piece but did say,”My piece is about the labor of artists and what that actually yields.”

Visual artists include Bobby Palmer, Melanie Paulos, Portia Hunter, Alex Redfern, Scott Semler and plenty more. Music will be performed by Lord Narf, SuperbodyEthereal, Archibald SlimKing Luka, Trashcan and, Gin Bottl.