Set aside personal opinions, observe and reflect: that’s what Seth Lepore does in his job as an artist.
Lepore travels the country hosting week-long installations, called the War/Peace Residency, interviewing members of different communities about peace and war.
“People’s ideas around war are concrete and their ideas about peace are completely abstract,” Lepore said.
This week, Lepore brings the project to WSU, courtesy of Student Entertainment Board Arts. From 1 - 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Lepore will interview students in the CUB Gallery about those topics.
“I haven’t yet met anyone who has a very strong sense on a pragmatic level of what peace looks like,” he said.
The interviews can happen at an open table, in a private area or not include any talking at all, Lepore said. If people prefer to draw or write a poem, they can do that.
SEB Arts chose to bring Lepore to campus after meeting him at an annual conference, said Cera Rodriguez, the SEB Arts committee chair.
At the end of his installation, Lepore will do a performance based on his interviews during the week. The performance will occur at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the CUB Auditorium.
Questions can include inquiries such as: “We all know what a battlefield looks like. What does a peace field look like?”
Lepore prods interviewees for answers and tries to get them to open up, he said.
“Because sometimes people have opinions and they don’t know why,” he said.
SEB Arts’ goal is to engage people with the arts, adviser Angel Nava said.
“Students want to be challenged in a new way, they don’t want the same old stuff,” Nava said. “They want to grow and think.”
Lepore originally developed the War/Peace Residency out of two words and with one other person.
And people also learn certain things through the process, he said.
“I think they learned that they don’t necessarily have everything worked out about peace and war,” he said