I am in Rhoden, Germany for one month as an artist in residence at the Beisinghoff Printmaking Residency. I am getting settled in and went for a long walk today to look and listen. My plan is to make new prints, possibly an artist book, that will use and respond to the materials I find here. The presses here are all hand inking only, so I also want to challenge myself to loosen my hand and experiment with monoprints, and layers.
I started writing Stations in the winter. I had just installed a solo exhibition and with that came a familiar feeling of exhaustion and doubt. Almost every night, I found myself watching a Youtube video from the movie Christine F of David Bowie performing Station to Station. Over and over. In the film, Bowie enters slowly in red, a sweeping green curtain behind him. The song begins with a mechanical grind, then a beat like a giant's plodding steps. There is smoke in the air and in the words. I was fascinated by its pageantry.
Here are we, one magical moment, such is the stuff From where dreams are woven Bending sound, dredging the ocean, lost in my circle Here am I, flashing no color Tall in this room overlooking the ocean Here are we, one magical movement from Kether to Malkuth
There are you, you drive like a demon from station to station
And with the words are gestures. Gestures of power, and magic, and beauty, as the song swells towards its manic conclusion.
I took screen shots and collected them in a file. And I started writing a poem for each song of Station to Station. Then David Bowie was gone. I watched the video over and over in tears. I finished the poems, did a reading of the poems, and put them aside.
The last two weeks, I taught a letterpress workshop at Penland School of Crafts, it was called "Text as Image, Type as Thought." The focus was on the visual and conceptually potential of working with text. I worked with the most wonderful group of students, and their endless energy is what inspired me to finish this book.
Recently, three of the poems were published in the The Found Poetry Review's special issue of David Bowie inspired poetry. You can read those here.
Each poem is written using Google Translate and a song from Station to Station as sources of ideation. The covers are letterpress printed, the inside of the book is are single color photocopy prints. There is an edition of ten in blue, and ten in gray. This is the blue edition.
A few shots of my work up at SOIL Artist Run-Gallery in Seattle, WA, part of the terrific group show Lost in Transit. Thank you Ricky Yanas for these great photographs!
:: Left to Right, Alexis Nutini, Douglas Witmer, Me (Inheritance), Me (Ocean), and Ezra Mauch ::
:: Inheritance, Lead and Fine Woodworking Magazines, 2015 ::
:: Left, Ocean, letterpress on paper, 2015 ::
Lost in Transit explores mythologies of disappearance, the anxiety of travel, and the precarious nature of man-made structures in the work of eighteen Philadelphia artists. Using H. John Thompson’s 2014 sculptural project Holding Our Own (2014), the focus of which is the legend of DB Cooper, the only unsolved airline hijacking in US history, as a jumping-off point, the members of each gallery were prompted to dig into their own bodies of work (new and old) to find formal and contextual similarities that would link them to this loaded subject. In doing so the exhibition acts as a kind of detective tale looking for clues, piecing together bits of information, and attempting to follow elusive threads of continuity and synchronicity within a diverse collection of styles and practices.
The exhibition includes pieces by Marc Blumthal, Marianne Dages, Christina P. Day and Ricky Yanas that engage in the distortion, breakdown, and absence of their subjects. Prints and sculpture by Alexis Granwell, Leslie Friedman,Terri Saulin Frock, and Tamsen Wojtanowski suggest complex and elusive languages that exist outside the realm of logic and rationality. A selection of suitcases made especially for Tiger Strike Asteroid Philadelphia’s space in December’s Artist-Run at The Satellite Show Miami Beach will also be included. These subversive objects hint at the tricky nature of contemporary navigation and travel while also referring to the gallery’s own institutional history.
Together, the works selected for this exhibition form a conceptual trajectory that moves viewers in and out of iconic and banal imagery, ethereal and hardedge forms, light and dark spaces, and into a search for something that may have never been there.
Artists: Todd Baldwin, Marc Blumthal, Mark Brosseau, Lewis Colburn, Christina P. Day, Marianne Dages, William DiBello, Leslie Friedman, Terri Saulin Frock, Alexis Granwell, Ezra Masch, Alexis Nutini, Joanna Platt, Kayla Romberger, H. John Thompson, Douglas Witmer, Tamsen Wojtanowski, Ricky Yanas
A couple more shots of the show in its entirety. The show looks incredible, I wish I could see it in person! Thank you to everyone at SOIL and Marc, Ricky, John, and Mark and everyone else who worked so hard to plan, install, and make it happen.
This workshop will focus on experimental applications of traditional letterpress techniques and the role of text in art. We’ll investigate how wood and metal type and common print shop materials can create unique textures, refined imagery, and meaningful content. We’ll draw inspiration from the Penland type collection and from artists who use text as prompt and image. You’ll learn to set type, fold simple book forms, and print on a Vandercook proof press. Each student will take home a collection of prints and a new appreciation of the printed word in all its forms. All levels. Code 01L
Studio artist; teaching: Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia), University of the Arts (Philadelphia), Common Press (Philadelphia); Herhusid residency (Iceland); collections: Museum of Modern Art (NYC), St. Bridge Foundation (UK), School of the Art Institute of Chicago; exhibitions: Print Gallery Tokyo, International Print Center (NYC). mariannedages.com
Readings begin at 6:15 p.m., reception following until 8:00 p.m
:: Marianne Dages, Dictionary I, Gouache, pencil, and silver point on paper ::
Jacintha Clark, Marianne Dages and Nichola Kinch present in collaboration three, short experimental performances in conjunction with the Wind Challenge 2 series. Each artist has selected a piece of text related to their work to be performed in the space of their solo exhibitions in the style and method of their choosing. Live and one night only.
COOP Gallery and the NAPOLEON Artist Collective in Philadelphia are pleased to present Far More Real, a group exhibition featuring members of the NAPOLEON collective in a month-long exchange between the two spaces.
Far More Real is a group show from the members of the NAPOLEON Collective in Philadelphia that examines the work of each artist-member through Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.
More about COOP:
COOP is a curatorial collective made up of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art by presenting challenging new or under-represented artists/artworks to our community. COOP is committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content, with a goal to provide an alternative venue for artists free from the constraints of the retail market. COOP seeks to initiate a discourse between Nashville and art scenes across the country by inviting artists to show, develop projects and interact with the Nashville community.