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Choreograph and Inge Bruggeman

November 7 - December 12, 2010

Emily Ginsburg and Jane Lackey

Gallery 2: Inge Bruggeman
The Possibility of Being Fully Rewritten—or 5 Ways to Enter (or Exit) the Book


Choreograph presents recent and new work by two artists—Emily Ginsburg and Jane Lackey. Both pay attention to movement and communication and share an interest in tracking the choreography of personal and social actions over time. The resulting artworks often resemble flow charts, circuitry and, in Ginsburg's case, devices like the rotary phone or her grandmother's palm-size silver case with its fan of ivory dance cards.

Emily Ginsburg lives and works in Portland, where she is the chair of the Intermedia Department at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has exhibited widely and recently completed major public commissions for Tri-Met, Seattle City Light and Cyan PDX.

Jane Lackey was Artist in Residence and Head of the Fiber Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1997 to 2007. Lackey is currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she makes art full-time and is a visiting lecturer nationally and internationally.

Choreograph is the first of two exhibitions related to choreography that The Art Gym will present this academic year. The second, Dance: before, after, during, is scheduled for April/May 2011. That exhibition will focus on the work of several Portland-based choreographers, including Linda Austin, Susan Banyas, Tahni Holt, Linda K. Johnson, and Cydney Wilkes. The exhibition will explore their use of images, language, scores, drawing, video and other tools in the development of new work; include video documentation of past work; and present several performances.

Gallery 2: Inge Bruggeman
The Possibility of Being Fully Rewritten—or 5 Ways to Enter (or Exit) the Book

This exhibition calls attention to the pleasures and the physicality of books. More than that it is an exhibition about the physical quality of exquisitely made, hand-made, artist-made books: scrolled and unscrolled, bound and unbound, stretched open and closed like an accordion. It is about pages that drape and sag, move with one's breath, or wait in stacks to be removed one page at a time by the visitor. All this, of course, is in contrast to the e-readers that may soon render such books and their more pedestrian cousins obsolete.

Inge Bruggeman has an MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama. She lives in Portland, and is the owner of INK-A! Press and Textura Book Arts Studio. Bruggeman teaches at the Oregon College of Art & Craft, has lectured and taught workshops nationally, and exhibited her work regionally, nationally and internationally.

More About Choreograph's Artists

Emily Ginsburg

Ginsburg's major new work for Choreograph is Dance Card. Modeled after a 19th-century silver and ivory dance card, the piece enlarges the scale of the original object many times over and increases the number of cards. Each of the more than 30 cards presents diagrams of the steps and props of a reoccurring activity in the artist's life: making breakfast, walking the dog, and conducting a studio visit at the college where Ginsburg teaches. For example, Ginsburg writes:

The fundamental thread through all of these is the notion that our habits—mundane, idiosyncratic, elegant, melodramatic, clunky, fast and slow, solitary and shared, repeated over time, are a form of vernacular choreography, a set of scores.

Ginsburg has also taken the opportunity to reflect on patterns of movement that occur or have occurred in The Art Gym. In Solo and Duet, she borrows from dance and sports diagrams, adhering black and white vinyl shapes and lines directly onto the gallery's wooden floors. She comments that she is "interested in the forms and patterns of social behavior in a space that has a history of use across dance, sports, art, and socializing." By placing the diagrams on the floor, Ginsburg not only calls the visitor's attention to his or her steps and path, but also to patterns of wear that have accumulated in The Art Gym.

Moving away from dance but also focusing on ritual, repetition, and paying attention to what lies in front of us is Ginsburg's Underlining Every Word from Italo Calvino's Mr. Palomar on the Beach, Reading a Wave. For this piece the artist used salt to create a pattern of short lines and omitted the text that determined their length and pattern. It is a word-inspired, but wordless exercise in keeping with the act of watching and tracking a wave.

Jane Lackey

Whether we engage socially in situ or link up through virtual communication, discussions, conversations and actions move between us invisibly forming glue—a short-lived genetic bond prompted by a synaptic charge. To lock and unlock these bonds in mapped visual relationships, I use materials such as tape, stickers, dots, labels and stitches of thread that are easily adhered to or released from larger fields of cloth or paper as they mark direction, place and tension.

Lackey made Trans-location: Call and Response, a work on fabric that spans a full 27 feet, in response to the scale of the walls and space of The Art Gym. Its bold black and white graphics pull the viewer deep into the space, its horizontality encourages one to walk alongside, and its rich surface detail rewards slow and careful examination. In other words, it creates its own choreography. Trans-location was triggered by a story the artist heard on National Public Radio about studies that track movement through cell phone user patterns. Of added interest to Lackey was the fact that the graphs in the cell phone studies loosely resembled her geometric systems of pattern and connection.

Two recent works that address similar patterns are Survey and Synapse. Survey was begun in 2005 in response to the artist's participation in an interdisciplinary artist residency in France. Lackey produced a set of maps that tracked and reflected the patterns of conversation among the artists. Lackey writes: "The space of conversation is like travel. I remember it as branching networks, labyrinths of body language, smells and sounds or...simple words placed in space." Her 2008 work Synapse also maps the movements of many people, and takes as its subject the series of street protests led by monks and nuns in Rangoon, Burma (Union of Myanmar), in 2007.

Chalk Talk, like Trans-location, was designed specifically for the gallery and will be installed in The Art Gym's tiny project room. The walls will be covered with blackboard paint and chalk will hang on cords from the ceiling. Visitors will be encouraged to use the suspended chalk to write words on the walls, filling the room with their own movements, gestures and words.

– Terri M. Hopkins
Director and Curator, The Art Gym


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