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Natural selection comes from misidentified mockingbirds. On a string of Galápagos Islands Charles Darwin collected data on slight variations amongst a species of finches (that were actually mockingbirds), the results of which later became the basis for his theory of natural selection. The tidy humanist idea that she–nature–molds and reforms our bodies per the specifics of her landscape. She reaches down our throats and engineers the mysterious fact of song of speech of sound-making. She tunes the bird’s call and the human’s hum. In Mary Helena Clark’s Ligature, the chorus of disembodied sounds, the phantom of the finch, proposes a world heard haptically, a touching of a song, an illumination of the inner chambers of the larynx. As “ligature” may connote medical binding, textual twinning, or musical harmonizing, Clark proposes a multiplicity of connotative possibilities so that each may commingle in the atmosphere of the gallery.

Inherited traits of the female avant-garde sound and filmmakers of the twentieth century percolate in the Clark’s work. In this artist-cum-species lineage we find another story of creation: Alien Resurrection (1997), an alien-human hybrid is born. In the movie, avant-garde sound artist Joan La Barbara gave voice to Newborn, the alien sapien. Known for her 1970’s experimentations with the limits of long vocalizations, polyphonics, trills and whispers, La Barbara’s extended vocal technique operates on the crack of the voice, voice as evidence of a constellation of bodily mechanisms. How strange that this artist’s articulation of the vocal edges of the human form would be selected to animate alien otherness. La Barbara’s animation of the medical miracle of an alien/human body creates a circuit of woman/sound/apparatus/embodiment/alien/film/mimesis that provides a useful halo over Clark’s project.

Follow the ligatures of the exhibition: touching is tied to hearing, shell is tied to ear, laser is tied to throat, bird is tied to invisibility, projected images are bound to each other in multichannel call-and-responses. Clark uses contact microphones to record and amplify sound by pressing the mechanical ear into the places on the body that seem to produce it; a device kin to the stethoscope, producing recordings of the tongue, throat, and mouth. Bird songs throughout the exhibition announce an invisible presence – a sound we all know and understand though rarely see its source or witness the act of its making. Projections appear on tilted screens, bent and confronting you from below. Each of these elements build Clark’s ethereal, tactile project that calls into question the very fact of seeing and hearing and the forces that make those sensations reproducible to an artist. The viewer is rendered alien in Ligature’s speculative world.

— Erin Jane Nelson

 

Elizabeth Atterbury

Elizabeth Atterbury (born 1982, West Palm Beach, FL) lives and works in Portland, Maine. Recent solo and group shows include Kate Werble Gallery, New York; The Portland Museum of Art, Portland; Mrs., Queens; The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; kijidome, Boston; Document, Chicago; Western Exhibitions, Chicago; The Luminary, St Louis; Et al. Etc., San Francisco; Pulaski Park Field House, Chicago; Able Baker Contemporary, Portland; Ida Schmid, Brooklyn; TSA, Brooklyn; Bodega, Philadelphia/New York; KANSAS, New York; and The ICA at Maine College of Art, Portland, among others. In the Middle, An Oasis, a monograph of her work, was published by Bodega Press in 2013. She received her BA from Hampshire College and her MFA from MassArt.

Atterbury’s studio practice is fluid, fluctuating between picture making and object making. Fascinated with the autonomy of the artifact – objects disassociated from their original function and context – Atterbury’s practice considers the distinction or lack thereof between artifact, prop, model and sculpture.  Drawn to materials such as paper and sand, Atterbury constructs ephemeral tableaux specifically for the purpose of transfiguring and recording them. Both her photographs and sculpture build upon a continued interest in display and its visual structures, along with a more recent interest in language, ritual, and abstraction.

Installation view, Night Comes In, 2018, Mrs., New York, Clockwise from the floor: Arrangement 1 (Discoveries), 2018, Mixed media, Dimensions variable; Beads III, 2018, Peach pits, 61.5 x 1 x 1 inches; River Poem, 2018, Mortar, plywood, glue, 23 x 19 x 1 inches

Em Oh Em, 2017, Beach Sand, basswood 8.5 x 3.5 x 2.25 inches (each)

Dog, 2018, Pine, 16 x 3.125 x 3.75 inches

Urn, 2018, Basswood, ash, 7 x 7 x 3.625 inches

Installation view, Night Comes In, 2018, Mrs., New York, Left: Bronze Chop (Large), 2018, Bronze, 21.75 x 3.375 x 3.25 inches Right: Urn, 2018, Basswood, ash, 7 x 7 x 3.625 inches

Elizabeth Atterbury, 26 Waves, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 22 3/4 x 19 x 1 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Alone at night, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23 x 19 x 1 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Still life with bowl and mirror, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23 x 19 x 1 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Anonymous Old Poem, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23 x 19 x 1 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Another Poem, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23 x 19 x 1 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Calligraphy Frame, 2018, Maple, acrylic paint, glue, 60 x 40 x 1 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, The Well, Again (Pool), 2017, Beach sand, glue, MDF, 10 1/2 x 8 x 6 1/4 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, The Well, The Wall, 2016, Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 in, Edition of 3

Elizabeth Atterbury, Beach Woks (Marks of a Tool II), 2016, Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 in, Edition of 3

Elizabeth Atterbury, Still Life with Popcorn and Pits, 2016, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in, Edition of 3

Elizabeth Atterbury, Logogram III, 2016, Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Logogram II, 2016, Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Logogram I, 2016, Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Tomb), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 12 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/2 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (The Cut), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 13 1/2 x 28 1/2 x 1 1/4 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Sunset Hedge), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 1 1/2 x 16 x 2 1/2 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Small House), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 1 x 16 3/4 x 14 1/2 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Bull Shark), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 2 1/2 x 18 x 1 1/2 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Paper Cut / Hedge), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 10 x 9 x 1 3/4 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Noguchi's Intetra, Mist Fountain), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 11 x 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Lawn), 2016, Enamel paint, steel 9 x 9 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Big House), 2016, Enamel paint, steel, 16 x 18 x 6 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sunny Side, FL (Palms), 2015, Enamel paint, steel, 17 1/2 x 11 x 16 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Relief (China White), 2015, Plywood and paint, 33 x 48 x 1 3/4 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Moonlight on the river, 2014, Chromogenic print, 14 x 11 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Slow Song, 2014, Chromogenic print, 14 x 11 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Marks of a tool, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Rake, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Ghost Tracks, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Black Beach, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 in, Edition of 3

Elizabeth Atterbury, Bones, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in, Edition of 3

Elizabeth Atterburym Glyphs II, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Glyphs, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Site, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sculpture Park, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Bricks, 2013 Chromogenic print, 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Harry, Henri, Sal, 2013, Chromogenic print, 14 x 11 in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Blue Runner Night, 2014, Chromogenic print, 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 in, Editon of 3

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Mirror Study (0X5A1317), 2017

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Blaffer Art Museum

October 19, 2019 – March 14, 2020

DOCUMENT is excited to announce a solo exhibition by Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. The exhibition will run from October 19, 2019 through March 14, 2020.

 

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Saturday, October 19, 2019
Opening Reception
5:00-8:00 p.m.
Remarks, 6:00 p.m.
Blaffer Art Museum

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
Gallery and Print Studio Associate
Cody Schlabaugh
info@documentspace.com

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

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DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 50 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2012 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists.Since 2016, DOCUMENT started exhibiting historical artists and has continued to anchor its program in a conversation between emerging voices and established figures. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. The production studio allows some of the gallery artists to collaborate with DOCUMENT in both their exhibitions and their daily artistic practice by being in constant conversation about the realization and processes in their work.
At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.