This Mortal Coil and The Labor of Remembrance are two interrelated exhibitions in dialogue, seeking to mitigate emotional suffering and corporeal pain. The ideology of craft collectively employs active and investigative methodologies, alongside devout and obsessive tendencies to facilitate one’s redemption. This impassioned approach to making by hand, with the inherent connection of ritual and process to that of materiality and craft, draws one to consider the ability of compulsive labor to serve as a remedy for grief. Conceptions of anguish, memory, and extreme vulnerability are displayed in extravagant and brutal force to reveal how histories, both shared and individual, articulate the human condition. The themes addressed in these two exhibitions are more relevant than ever, in response to current shared grim realities and global struggles and their relationship to loss, [in]justice, and mortality. Thus, the works selected illuminate empathy, grief, and loss, as shared universal themes.
This Mortal Coil
August 28—December 11, 2021
Location: Mortin Gallery
Curated by Cynthia Nourse Thompson
A collection of works by seventeen prominent contemporary artists present a visual dialogue that is strikingly raw and at the surface of our emotional armature— one which most individuals work diligently to prevent illuminating. This imposing presence of fear and loss is conveyed through dramatic images, which while beautiful, are laden with sorrow and despondency. Each artist summons the viewer to pause and reflect on unbearable suffering, both individual and collective, and the frailty of the human condition. Works on display are presented through a timely and despairing lens, pleading empathy, suffering, and sacrifice as shared universal causes. Moreover, the quiet ferocity of devotion as presented through craft, materials, and process provokes one to somatic response beyond exercised humility. Although the artists in This Mortal Coil confront us with fearful depths lurking beneath our exterior, their perspectives beckon us to fathom its darkness and arise to find clarity and strength and the self-recognition that without this palpable dimness, light would not exist. Within darkness, there are moments of great beauty and certainty.
Featured artists: Janine Antoni, Louise Bourgeois, Sonya Clark, Gail Deery, Carson Fox, Markus Hansen, Donna Smith Jones, Anders Krisár, Rosemary Laing, Pixy Liao , Roberto Mannino, Martha McDonald, Oscar Muñoz, Tony Orrico, Dario Robleto, Piper Shepard, and Anne Wilson.