Archive for the ‘shows’ Category
There is no sign of the many yards of silk ribbon I hand-dyed for the weft or the last skein of white cotton for the warp. Today was one of those days that all the little things go wrong… until I finally got the materials sorted out and started work. That makes everything better. Warping is so meditative.
The first layer of warp (the up and down bit you weave the weft/across bit through) is mostly in place now. New yarn arriving Wednesday to finish that. The optical fiber comes next, then some near-invisible mono-filament for structure. Then some loo/warp setup-stuff, THEN I can start weaving. I don’t think I can really hook up the LEDs to the optical fibers to get them to glow until the whole thing is woven.
I was testing the optical fibers again the other night. They are meant to only pass light from one end to the other without you seeing it out the sides. By abrading the surface you get a side-glow. If I abrade any single fiber evenly the whole way the light won’t make it- it will go dark in the middle, so what I’m going to go for is an almost rainfall-like effect- individual fibers abraded differently. The tricky thing here will be that I will have to apply all the abrasion before actually seeing any of it lit or woven, so I will only see a slightly more opaque bit to tell me where the light will be.
I have mountains of concept behind this work, but as usual I’m reluctant to talk publicly about it while the work is in-progress. I want to hear people’s experience of the work before telling them what I think is important or what my intentions are. A lot of it in this piece is about the meanings within the materials and their history, and the methods employed to produce the piece- drawing from a painting, digitization, cropping, weaving. The image itself is around the 6th version of same. Days and days of work and artistic decision-making have gone into a deceptively simple derivative image.
In other news tomorrow I’ll be meeting with the other artists in the show I organized for the Diego Gallery at SFAI (selected by an outside jury). Interwoven Connections- contemporary fiber (April 28th-May 4th). So far so good. Four awesome women (Dara Rosenwasser, Jacqueline Buttice, Heather Jones and myself) working at the intersection of fiber, photography, chemistry and technology.
Graduate Open Studios at SFAI is just around the corner. Come see what me and everyone else is working on.
April 20, 12:00–5:00 pm
Map (you want to take the entrance on 22nd St, not 3rd St.) It’s on the Second floor and includes all bays with orange doors. I am in studio C7. It’s in bay C (one of the nearer bays on the left, studio is in the back right corner).
If you come visit you may well find yourself incorporated into an artwork. I usually use Open Studios events for their steady stream of people who can feed into my work, so I am often alternating between hosting my studio and actually working. Also, I can’t stand being in my workspace looking at anything unfinished without working on something!
Exhibition Dates: May 11 – June 16, 2013 weekends 1-6PM.
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 1-6 PM.
I had Identity Tapestry’s 3rd iteration at BWAC’s Wide Open2, where it won best installation when Nat Trotman (curator at the Guggenheim) was the juror. This time there were 1747 submissions and this was one of the 100 chosen.
I have to say it is a relief to have a small piece in a show for once. No crazy packing, no huge shipping fees, no me getting on a plane with bags of materials to install on site… just a non-fragile item in a small package!
It was really interesting to see another very specific group of people people doing this piece. The Wisdom 2.0 conference has a very clear culture which Identity Tapestry rendered into a collective portrait.
There were patterns I had never seen before happening. Some things I expected (that the “learning was never important to me” statement would remain blank for example). Other things were unusual and I wouldn’t have thought of. The statement “I have never left this country” was the only other blank. “I enjoy my own company” was mobbed, where in all other cases it has been nearly empty. Some other popular ones were “I like to lead” “I like to follow a good leader”, “I make time to play”, “I love to travel” and “I am spiritual”. People in this setting also did a lot more reading ahead and watching others before they began to do it for themselves.
It went well and had all the effects I have come to expect- joy, tears, people loving it, people thinking about their connection to others, evaluating their own lives and relationships, discovering new things about their friends and lovers… it was all there. Some lovely moments happened too- a newly engaged couple learning new things about each other, for example.
The new thing for me was the number of people who did it who were connected to nonprofits or large corporations. ….so now I have new things to consider. To what extent do I reproduce the piece, and how and for whom? I have more people asking for it than I can handle unless this single piece was all I did full time. Where is the line between Art and business? How much can it be reproduced before it loses it’s effect, or would it? What about my other artwork? What about digital versions? Other versions? There is a running joke that you aren’t a real contemporary artist until you have a team of assistants helping you make your work. There are a lot of questions I need to carefully consider. I need to decide how I feel about all of it.
I will be posting more images to my website when things settle down a little. It occurs to me that there is so much new work that’s in progress that isn’t there on the website yet. I work out concepts and processes slowly, over months, and then work the physical part like a maniac when I have everything right. The interactive works need a lot of testing and re-testing on friends and strangers before I’m ready to create the real version. I am currently working through two new interactive pieces, two binary drawing/weavings and one painting. The paintings and weaving you’ve seen bits of here, but the interactive work will stay closeted until it’s ready to interact.
On a side note there are two finished Identity Tapestries languishing in storage. I can’t wait until they all have good homes where people are able to see them daily.
One side benefit of being in LA this weekend for the installation was being able to swing by Art Los Angeles Contemporary. I’ve heard artists and others in the art world say that it’s best to stay away from art fairs. It’s easy to see what they mean- art that should be seen in a very specific environment or with lots of space around it is crammed together in a very commercial space with lots of other hardly related art. It’s a rough environment for anything. I am sure that being in one of those booths as either artist or gallerist, with the pressure to sell, the fluorescent lights, the all-day intensity… it has to be rough.
On the other hand, as an artist if I can let go of some of that, it’s kind of like a gallery Tapas bar with a spread of artists, galleries and art. I get to see who else is out there in a bite-sized format. Who is exploring similar ideas? Who is using similar materials? What is there that I like? What can’t I stand and why? If I like a work, I may actually be able to speak with the artist. That’s the best.I had two brief but excellent conversations with artists, one of whom I would love to collaborate with.
For the galleries, it’s window-shopping. I have yet to really approach a gallery. It’s like getting married, and I’m only just thinking about dating. Right now at each art fair I go to, each gallery I visit in LA or New York on SF I look at what they are showing. If I like the collection of artists, if I feel affinity for the gallerist’s vision, I talk with them about the work they are showing. Then I see how they talk about the art. Are they passionate? I watch how they treat visitors and if they are there the artists. Are they people I would want to work intensively with? Would I trust them with my art? If the answer is yes, I watch the gallery.
Here are some of the artists that hit me from this show. Sadly some of the photos are rushed and blurry (gives a sense of the place in itself), but I came away with new thoughts and new people to watch.
I think I was on a particular 2D/3D perceptions of materials, what are our expectations of what we see sort of kick while I was there. Also intersections of digital with cloth and wood.
In Dan Gunn’s work I really enjoyed the way he was taking such a classic painting element as drapery, flattening it with a photo and then making it simultaneously have dimension, flatness, and the quality of cloth while being the unexpected material of wood. I appreciated the material surprise of Ara Peterson’s “Loyal”- also in wood, but made to look soft and gooey, yet still digital. Pae White had as broad a range of materials in her work as I do, but the piece that was there to grab me was a giant computer-woven tapestry that looked like metal. Digital, fiber, and flat things pretending to be sculpture and a material they are not… yes, right up my alley (sculpted canvases, fiber work, digital work). The artist I got to talk with briefly who also had a huge range of work that related to mine in all kinds of places was Clara Montoya. What caught me first was her “Momento” piece. At a distance, or on the screen of your phone, the flesh-toned squares begin to resolve into a face. She is exploring the boundaries of representation and abstraction. The human face is the thing we seek out in all things, the first thing we visually recognize, so it’s great territory for this. I loved how the piece was also a puzzle that will get mixed up over time, just as a memory degrades each time you examine it. Wonderful.
This has been a great process and the piece went very well. It was tricky, knowing that I would only have a single day to set up in LA after flying in the previous night from SF, but I knew I could do it, especially with help.
This is in my studio in SF. It takes me hours to arrange where the posts with the statements about Identity go. Since I knew I would have limited installation time I did a sort of map on some butcher paper that was the same size as the panel. It worked perfectly. We taped it over the panel during setup, drilled right through the paper, screwed in the posts, added the labels and tore away the paper. I love when things work. Also, this gives me a process that I can potentially pass on to a curator.
LA was unfortunately getting a ton of rain on the day of the installation and event. The Reel Stories organizers were scrambling to get tents and other last-minute rain protection. After some hiccups and problem-solving, we set up a wall to withstand the wind, protected from the rain. They got the lighting in and everything was set up beautifully.
Installation of the actual piece went more quickly and smoothly than it ever has before. The organizers and volunteers were extremely helpful and sweet for the entire thing.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. The character of the place came through very clearly in the tapestry too. The most obvious things were the demographic- these were mostly students, and it showed in statements like “I am a homeowner” being almost blank. Other things about the community came through though- the love of travel, the values of service to others, listening, care-taking… those were all very strong. The religious and spiritual background of the school (something I hadn’t know about until I got there) also came through, in combination with a desire for open-mindedness and exploration. It was clearly a portrait of a unique community.
This is the sixth time I’ve done the piece, but each one before was a more extended group around a gallery or type of place, but never with almost everyone in the same community. The distinction was visible in the work.
This is still my favorite piece. It changes every time and I love seeing how different groups of people create it. Much thanks to Sarah Attar for finding my work online and bringing me and Identity Tapestry to Pepperdine for the Reel Stories film festival.
A few images from tonight. The show was well put together and well attended and the piece was well received. There were some interesting differences that came up in which statements were mobbed and which were left untouched. I’d say a half to a third of the yarn was used during the opening (100ish colors used). It is the first time I’ve walked away from the piece when there was any statement left undone. It’s hard to walk away knowing I won’t see the rest of it in action, but photographer friends have assured me they will get more images throughout the show.
I don’t know when I would get tired of doing this piece. The different iterations make the series more interesting as a whole when you compare them against each other. Cultural differences between cities really stand out. I’d love to see it in different countries.
I had a number of enjoyable conversations and was very pleased to meet the other artists. A good show and a good night.
News from the Studio of Mary Corey March
I will have a new iteration of Identity Tapestry showing in Los Angeles at the invitational TEXT: Message show at Bleicher Gallery opening next week. I will be at the opening event on the 18th.
I would also like to announce that I am beginning the MFA program at SFAI this fall. This means I will be moving my studio from the Art Explosion at the end of this month to the Graduate Studios of SFAI
It also means that I will not be at the September Art Explosion Open Studios (expect possibly to visit) but I will be having open studios at the graduate building on 3rd Street in San Francisco’s Dogpatch area and will post here as those happen.
I hope you are all well and that I will see you in the Graduate studios soon.
I will be showing a new iteration of my participatory installation, Identity Tapestry in Los Angeles this August-Sept.
“TEXT : Message” (The Alchemy of text-based Art)
ARTISTS: Stephen Anderson, Nicola Anthony, TM Gratkowski, Alexandra Grant, Jim Jenkins, Kim Koga, Joella March, Mary Corey March, Darren Saravis, Joy Shannon, Lacey Turrell and Suzanne Walsh
CURATOR: JOELLA MARCH *no relation to Mary March!
Show Runs: August 15th thru September 10th, 2012;
Artist Reception: Saturday August 18th from 6pm to 10pm
Location: Bleicher Gallery La Brea
355 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036-2517
GALLERY HOURS: Mon.- Wed, & Sun 12pm-6pm; Thurs. 12pm-8pm; Fri. 12pm-9pm and Sat 12pm-9:30pm
“Text : Message” (The Alchemy of text-based Art) is a group exhibition of artists, working in a variety of mediums and genres, who incorporate, infuse or solely utilize text in their art practice. Through their employment of language and letterform as concept and design, these artists cultivate an inherently transformative partnership of imagery and text, posing, among many other questions – “does art enhance the power of text or does the presence of text enhance the power of art or are they forever equals in this visual-conceptual dialog.“This unique art exhibition held at the Bleicher Gallery La Brea in Los Angeles will display a compelling array of contemporary text based works encompassing a wide variety of themes and concepts. The works on view will traverse
diverse styles and sensibilities, delivered with skill, intelligence, wit and innovation thru a myriad of themes ranging from public to personal and media including: illustration-pyrography (drawing with fire/heat), kinetic sculpture, collage, interactive installation, neon, l.e.d., video, sculpture, assemblage, painting, and photography.
Curator Contact: Joella March, firstname.lastname@example.org +1 (310) 237 6423
Press Packet/Images: contact gallery