curated by Kristin Scenna.
Ely Center for Contemporary Art, 3/7-4/18, 2021
On view March 7 – April 18, 2021
As I perused hundreds of submissions for what would become the exhibition Embody, it occurred to me that I was essentially viewing living artists' response to our fraught moment. I reviewed the works in early February in preparation for an exhibition in March 2021: the one year anniversary of COVID's known presence here in the United States. So, while this show isn't an exhibition about the pandemic, it is most certainly a reflection of living artists' attempt to grapple with this crisis (and maintain their practice) despite its ongoing repercussions in real time.
The desire for the tangible was resoundingly clear: the impulse to bring the physical into being; to give form to states of being, unsung heroes and unseen actions; and to restore the shapes and bodies that we formerly encountered, touched and experienced with abandon. Embody signals a return to the corporeal in all its fleshy, messy, imprecise and awkward glory. While we are still ensconced in a world dominated by necessary isolation and virtual interactions, these artists labor to remind us that our longing for physicality in real space and time is irrepressible and must be visibly acknowledged.
Julia Whitney Barnes
Morgan Rose Free
Adrian Martinez Chavez
Victoria van der Laan