Make Space IRL

November 9 - 11, 2012 | MDW Fair at Mana Contemporary | Chicago, IL

ARTISTS: Jeff AustinDaniel BairdBilly BuckMarissa Lee BenedictSofia LeibyHolly MurkersonCasilda SanchezClare TorinaErin Washington, and .

Curated by Lynnette Miranda, Etta Sandry, and Jason Judd

Publication Design & Exhibition Collaborator: Kathy Cho

Exemplifying the spirit of Make Space to expand the dialogue of contemporary art practices, the exhibition booth features ten artists who have previously worked with Make Space. Through continuous collaboration, Make Space expands beyond the bounds of the Internet and bridges the gap between space and screen, to bring artists and audience together IRL. The Make Space exhibition booth at MDW Fair creates an exchange between the selected artists and the audience that can be experienced in physical space rather than through the medium of windows, tabs, mouse, and screen. The featured artists include Jeff Austin, Daniel Baird, Billy Buck, Marissa Lee Benedict, Sofia Leiby, Holly Murkerson, Casilda Sanchez, Clare Torina, Erin Washington, and Allison Yasukawa.

Embracing materiality and labor, Erin Washington examines themes of vulnerability and permanence. Washington questions how time structures transitions in ephemera, creating mixed-media paintings, drawings, and sculptures, which unravel time through the performance of their making, and their subsequent degradation. The performative act is also a platform for Allison Yasukawa, as she creates a certain level of accessibility in her work by embracing a vernacular of humor and utilizing commonplace materials, familiar activities and quotidian actions, while at the same time, gently nudging viewers slightly off-balance. Through themes of humor, kitsch, and rudimentary color fields Billy Buck’s photography evokes a sense of personal philosophy while questioning the subjectivity of the photographic image. Holly Murkerson’s work has a contemplative elegance that extends through photography, writing, and sculpture—her quiet aesthetic emanates from her use of light and language as her raw materials. By combining screenprinting and painting techniques, Sofia Leiby explores both the impact of Internet media culture on subjectivity with special regard to landscape and the painterly mark under technological duress.

Daniel G. Baird is a sculptor whose work addresses various ideas and concerns relating to the relationship we have to the technology that we create and surround ourselves with. Often circling around ideas of preservation and mortality, his work has addressed such issues as the final frontier in space exploration, the limits of technology and the museological impulse of archiving the world. Marissa Lee Benedict is interested in interdisciplinary practice as a way to bring to foreground the evolving, dialogical work rather then the creation of a static statement or object. In this way her work is a web of evocative connections between natural systems, scientific processes, art historical trajectory and personal experience. Casilda Sanchez explores the ideas of vision, voyeurism and intimacy through video, installation, and photography. Her work looks at the experience of vision and its relation with a physical body, revealing its beauties and contradictions. Through painting and object making, Clare Torina addresses parallels between the human relationship to art and religious objects by exploring themes of myth and ritual, humor, and unexplained phenomena. Jeff Austin works in the ephemeral and mystical—materiality is always in question as content weaves in and out through mediums of light and form.