BRUNSWICK — Performing and video artist Emilie Blum has the distinction of being the artist chosen for the final exhibition at Coleman Burke Gallery in Brunswick.

Blum, who lives in Harpswell, is showing her work in an exhibition titled “Shake that Bird,” on view through July 26. The exhibition includes two videos and two sculptural pieces. She will discuss her work at 5 p.m. Friday at the gallery.

Blum takes ordinary objects and activities and turns them into whimsical, funny and provocative playgrounds. Her videos are surreal, and feel dreamlike in their attempt to reveal secrets and desires.

A 2007 graduate of Cornell University, she teaches at Milton Academy in Massachusetts and lives in Maine in the summer. After graduating from college, she biked from Virginia to Utah, offering performance pieces in laundry facilities along the way.

She chose laundromats because of the personal nature of the activities that happen in them – washing clothes – which contrasts with the private nature of people there. Generally, people immerse themselves in TV or magazines while their clothes spin. She wanted to change that dynamic by offering performances, which sometimes happened spontaneously and other times were advertised in advance with posters.

Her performances generally last one wash cycle.

“It was fascinating,” said Blum, 29. “I learned a lot about people. We had planned to camp most of the way without tents, but we ended up being taken in by strangers along the way. People were incredibly kind and trusting.”

Coleman Burke curator Richard Keen announced the closing of the gallery this month. It has been open seven years.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

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