ROCKLAND—The Center for Maine Contemporary Art welcomes the public to the 2023 summer exhibitions opening reception in the courtyard on Winter Street, Saturday, May 27, from 3-5 p.m. Exhibiting artists Rodrigo Valenzuela and Nancy Andrews will be in attendance, and refreshments will be served.
Homebodies, Andrews' first solo exhibition in Maine, her home state, brings together diverse threads of her artistic practice, including drawing, collage, video, and sculpture. The questions that unite this work explore the concept of display – what is displayed in the home, how femininity is displayed in popular media, and how we look at what is displayed – and the disconnect between American ideals and actualities. The work offers a particularly female point of view on aspirations for peace and prosperity in the home, reflecting on pervasive overtones of ownership and the desire to control women’s bodies by men who occupy dominant roles in our past and current Western culture. Similarly, Andrews’ portrayal of animals pushes against human-made boundaries by affording them subjecthood and their own, autonomous gazes. Andrews is the recipient of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation's 2022 Fellowship in the Visual Arts.
Ellie Ga presents a projection of her latest video, Quarries (2022), which premiered in Spring 2022 at the Jeu de Paume (Paris). In Quarries, Ga’s steady, captivating voice entices viewers to traverse a path composed of seemingly disparate shards of conversations, events and fleeting images which, over the duration of the 40-minute video, accumulate into a mosaic that links the human hand and its tools with the capacity for resistance.
Continuous Poem presents Shinique Smith’s monumental, 28-foot-wide artwork, Memories of my youth streak by on the 23 (2019), which stirs together paint, textiles, and pieces of mirrors in a vibrant impression that evokes the sensation of moving down a street. The seven-panel work is, in part, autobiographical: it animates familiar memories of the artist and the number 23 bus she would ride to and from her high school in Baltimore. In her accompanying series of 30 x 30-inch paintings, each artwork conjures an emotion that feels familiar but cannot be entirely pinned down, evading a too close definition or categorization. These glimpses into the artist’s recollection flatten her personal history and memory in one continuous moment that collages all that came before—piece by piece and heaped onto the canvas—into the present.
Rodrigo Valenzuela’sWEAPONS premieres a major installation incorporating works from two connected and ongoing photographic series, Weapons and Afterwork, that will be integrated into floor-to-ceiling wood-frame structures installed along with ceramic pieces made by the artist. Through a patina of nostalgic fantasy, Valenzuela’s Weapons series offers views of imaginative performances that might take place on a job site once workers depart. Knives, screws, rope, and chains — the tools of many trades — appear reconfigured as sinister phoenixes, ramshackle sculptures, and animistic creatures of dreams. Afterwork, the earlier series, presents pictures of somber, silvery rooms filled with mechanical contraptions and fog, possibly from the sweat left hanging in the air after a long day’s work.
CMCA is located at 21 Winter St in Rockland, Maine. For more information, visit cmcanow.org.
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