|Above: Marissa Lee Benedict, left, with artist and partner David Allan Rueter, right, opening night, March 7, 2014.|
March 7 - 27, 2014
Chicago Artists Coalition
217 N. Carpenter Street
Friday, March 7, 2014: Within the context of a site-specific installation which occupies the whole of the Chicago Artists Coalition's BOLT Residency gallery, Marissa Lee Benedict exhibits (4-channel) video documentation of an earlier performance in the Mojave Desert. Benedict, the performer, presents herself as a hydrologist occupied with the task of collecting soil samples from Harper Dry Lake, in Hinkley, California.
|Above: The video component of Marissa Lee Benedict's installation "Augur," in the Chicago Artists Coalition's BOLT Residency gallery.|
|Above: Sarah and Joseph Belknap's "Glacier Spring Rider" in "It's Getting Hot in Here" on April 13, 2012.|
At least one other point of coincidence exists between Benedict's "Augur" and the Belknaps' "It's Getting Hot in Here," just barely visible in the photograph of the "Glacier Spring Rider" above: In the northwest corner of the BOLT Residency gallery, the Belknaps, with great difficulty, obtained permission to drill a portal in the floor.
|Above: The portal in the northwest corner of the BOLT Residency gallery which was made by the Belknaps in April of 2012.|
|Above: A detail of Benedict's portal in the southeast corner of the BOLT Residency gallery reveals the core sample set within it.|
|Above: Benedict's portal found in a floor of reclaimed lumber, built above the gallery's natural grade, on March 7, 2014.|
|Above: A shadow is cast by a visitor walking near the portal set in Benedict's floor of reclaimed lumber, March 7, 2014.|
|Above: Tony Tasset's "Robert Smithson (Las Vegas)," 1995, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.|
|Above: Marissa Lee Benedict, still from "Attempting to collect a good sample, Attempts 1-4, Harper Dry Lake, Hinkley, CA," 2014.|
The art world is its own sort of environment, remarkably resistant to investigation and objective measures, in which delicate things are variously inclined to flourish or fail because of abundance as well as scarcity. Attention and money, like water in the BOLT Residency shows from both Benedict and also the Belknaps, tends not to be evenly distributed; rather, we have flooding and droughts according to the caprice of our kind, and the cruel indifference of Nature. It's an interesting year to be in Chicago.
Images (1,2,5-7) March 7, 2014;
Copyright Paul E. Germanos.
Images (3,4) April 13, 2012;
Copyright Paul E. Germanos.
Image (8) MCA Chicago, gift of artist & Rhona Hoffman; restricted gift of Jack and Sandra P. Guthman, 1995.
Copyright Tony Tasset.
Image (9) Video still from "Attempting to collect a good sample, Attempts 1-4, Harper Dry Lake, Hinkley, CA," 2014.
Copyright Marissa Lee Benedict.
"Presented by Chicago Artists Coalition’s BOLT Residency, 'Augur' is a new immersive installation produced by artist Marissa Lee Benedict. An extension of Benedict’s ongoing investigation into processes of research, collection, extraction, and cultivation, this solo exhibition will feature a 4-channel video installation depicting Benedict’s repeated attempts to collect a core sample from the arid, clay-hardened surface of Harper Dry Lake located in Hinkley, CA.
Working to cut into the parched ground and glimpse what might lie beneath, Benedict tries to gain traction in the harsh landscape via a series of gardening tools (a sledge hammer, a bucket, a shovel, a drill, and a series of pipes) and amateur soil sampling techniques. The show’s title, 'Augur,' plays between the words augur – to portend a good or bad outcome of an event or circumstance, to foresee or predict– and auger – a hand tool often used by soil scientists, geologists and glaciologists to bore holes into the earth.
Just as the aperture of a camera opens to allow light to pass though, Benedict’s repeated attempts to extract and expose the strata below speaks to the artist’s process of searching and re-searching, striving to make tangible connections with the elusive or imperceptible."
Quotation above from: http://www.thevisualist.org/2014/03/marissa-lee-benedict-augur/
Quotation above from: http://chicagoartistscoalition.org/programs/bolt-residency/augur
Marissa Lee Benedict joined Sarah and Joseph Belknap in a special project (which also included Karsten Lund, the curatorial assistant to Dieter Roelstraete in "The Way of the Shovel" at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago) at the alternative print publication Newcity on September 5, 2013:
"Invited by Newcity to 'hijack the newspaper,' Chicago-based artists Sarah Belknap, Joseph Belknap and Marissa Lee Benedict have inserted into this special issue a selection of photographic re-enactments, highlighting the contemporary fascination with space and space travel, and the growing number of Chicago-based artists and curators who are participating in this resurgent dialogue."
Quotation above from: http://art.newcity.com/2013/09/05/after-a-time-a-newcity-artist-project/