In Formation, 2014

In-Formation_webIn Formation, 2014
Harper College Exhibition Space
Palatine, IL

Using individual and shared processes of building and painting, artists Raewyn Martyn and Sara Black created emergent surfaces and structures within the gallery architecture. By allowing the work to unfold throughout the exhibition period in real time, this installation rendered duration and action equally significant to any resulting object, image, or structure. Undertaking a series of mutual provocations, they began by “skinning the room” with both plywood and paint. During the exhibition, further provocations and actions responded to the unfolding conditions. This led to the emergence of built forms (reminiscent of everyday objects such as a table, shelf, trap door, door) that were melding with and unfolding from painted surfaces and layers of delaminated paint pulled from the walls and floors.

Black and Martyn set out to use these activities as practice in adaptation: negotiating and understanding their own processes of human made endeavor, but also, In Formation undertook a kind of watchfulness, for how things, definitions, and categories truly emerge and dissolve. At this moment it is increasingly necessary for humans to revision reality in radical ways that recognize the interrelated conditions of our always-changing world, to de-center our human centered conceptions of reality. These revisions allow us to adapt to our changing conditions that are the result of the human made geologic era. In this exhibition, Black and Martyn took interest in how art making (building, painting, craft) processes are often practices of mindful adaptation; that, although privileged, are also transferrable and already connected to real human time and experience.In Formation, uncovers questions of sustainability that might need to be re-crafted, and allows us to re-invest ourselves as makers in building our capacity to counter habit with sustained and sustaining attention.