Sep 8 – Oct 21, 2017
Featuring work by Susan Giles Jeroen Nelemans
Friday, September 8, 6:00-8:00pm
Caroline Stearns, THE MISSION
THE MISSION is excited to announce Swipe, Sweep, Flick, Fold, a two-person exhibition showcasing recent work by Chicago-based artists Susan Giles and Jeroen Nelemans. An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 8 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, October 21, 2017.
We navigate the world through our movements. Whether a swipe of the finger, a flick of the wrist, a folding of the hands, gestures are the language of the body. These gestures mediate our conversations with others and our interactions with devices. Our use of technology is resulting in new gestures that are fundamental to our daily lives. Yet, despite our increasing interactions with devices, our hands still embody agency and have the capacity to reflect our thoughts and intentions in unexpected ways. Giles and Nelemans explore the everyday gestures of Swipe, Sweep, Flick, Fold through photographs and sculpture.
The gestural residue left on the glassy surface of smart devices is the subject matter of Nelemans’ abstracted photographs. Applying clear gelatin with the swipe of his finger onto the surface of his iPad, the viscous material acts as a wide-angle lens separating and magnifying the red, green, blue (RGB) wavelengths that compose the LED display. Nelemans’ Swipes capture the momentary and unique interactions we have with our devices. Contemporary technologies rely on an interactive display; however, these by-hand mark-making mechanisms are instinctual and deeply rooted in ancient modes of art and communication.
When words cannot describe, photo sharing is unavailable, and a Google web browser is out of reach, we rely on memories to recall our experiences. Giles’ photographs capture the spontaneous hand gestures that accompany speech as subjects describe iconic architectural spaces housed within their memory. The subject’s hand movements are tracked through LED lights and long-exposure photography. Gestures are externalized conceptualizations unique to each individual and often operate on the periphery of one’s awareness revealing aspects of an individual’s experience that are not apparent through photos and videos.
Swipe, Sweep, Flick, Fold also features a concurrent sculptural series by Giles that combines 3D printed models of iconic architecture with concrete plinths that mimic the form of the architecture’s cast shadow as seen from satellite imagery. Giles’ 3D printed models are sourced from Google Earth, relaying digitally accessible visual information into physical form.
Nelemans’ also translates iconic imagery into sculpture with the aid of technology continuing his investigation of the image as a physical and spatial entity. In his Bird as Space series, Nelemans places the computer screen displaying Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture Bird as Space into a scanner bed. The digital image on the screen is translated into a printed image revealing the RGB sub-pixels, which he then cuts, bends, and folds into three dimensions.
SUSAN GILES is in artist in sculpture and video living and working in Chicago, IL. She received her MFA from Northwestern University and a MA from The School of Art Institute of Chicago. She has recently exhibited solo exhibitions at Burren College of Art (Co. Clare, Ireland), PataPDX (Portland, OR), Zhulong Gallery (Dallas, TX), and Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL). Her work has been in group exhibitions in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art and The Renaissance Society as well as Mixed Greens in New York and Galeria Valle Orti in Valencia, Spain, among others. She has received several grants including an Individual Artist Project Grant from the City of Chicago’s DCASE (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) in 2015, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award for Visual Arts in 2014 and 2009, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2005, and a Fulbright Grant in 1998 to Indonesia to conduct research on the intersection of tourism and culture in Bali. Giles is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Contemporary Practices at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
JEROEN NELEMANS was born in the Netherlands and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. His work has been exhibited at Aspect/Ratio (Chicago, IL), the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA), the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Space (Miami, FL), the Institute of Contemporary Art (Greece), Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL), Nice&Fit Gallery (Berlin, Germany), and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids, MI). His work has been screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Miami, FL), the Banff Center (Canada), Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL), Werkleitz Centre for Media Art (Halle, Germany), the Magmart International Video Art Festival (Naples, Italy), Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (Ireland), the Kortfilm Festival (Copenhagen), and the 25th Festival Les Instant Video (Marseille, France).
An exhibition catalog with an essay by Lisa Sutcliffe will accompany the show. Sutcliffe is the Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Giles’ project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.