Love Child highlights the dialogue and exchange that takes place when two creative people make something together. The show includes works by EVA & ADELE, Anna Gaskell and Douglas Gordon, Nyeema Morgan and Mike Cloud, Rachel Debuque and Justin Plakas, Maria Walker and Jonathan Allmaier, Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe, Jennifer Coates and David Humphrey.
Often, artists refer to their own work as their babies. When an artist has an established practice (as the artists in this exhibition do), the community is familiar with these births. Less familiar are the love children made between two working artists. They are seemingly outliers of an artist’s practice. Unearthed, in this exhibition, they take center stage.
When two creatives negotiate the process and metamorphosis of an object, a new author comes forth. The work is the physical manifestation of a harmonious connection, and dialogue between these couples. The negation of authorship, the generosity involved in the give and take process of an intimate collaboration, the trust, the work and the understanding required is worth celebrating.
While much of the work in the exhibition is bred of a politically-driven stance, all of the work is playful.
“..the complete fusion in a praxis of two subjunctives, two subjunctives that metamorphose into a third; it is from this collusion that a new author emerges, an absent third person, invisible and beyond grasp, decoding the silence.” -from The Minds Eye by William S. Bouroughs and Brion Gysin
In the intersection between time-tested auguries and contemporary artistic approaches, Palma finds new ways to create life, through a search for meaning and identity. Palma’s labor-intensive, large works explore Pre-Columbian culture, psychoanalysis, alchemy, ritual, divination, and healing. Spanning different genres and media, Monica Palma employs drawing, textile design, painting, sculpture and performance to negotiate the breach between her Mexican heritage and her experience living in the US. Wish Me Good Luck traverses four of Palma's bodies of work: Textile Drawings, Sound Drawings, Sound/Mirror Drawings, and her most recent, Souvenirs. In Souvenirs, Palma drapes large sheets of paper across her body, which become an extension of herself. Meaningful actions create folds: she hugs the painted paper, creating creases and tears which she then cuts into and marks using saws, knives and paint. Through Palma’s rigorous physical engagement, her work is transformed into remains from a mystic ritual performance: a body map, a guide, or a membrane. Like sound etched into an LP, it is also a physical record of her sonic experiences.
Obsidian is an important material for Palma, for its traditional uses in pre-Columbian culture, and also for her personal connection to the volcanic glass, which is found in abundance in Mexico. Assuming the role of shaman, Palma sets an intention or makes an inquiry, and rolls them like dice (or spits them out of her mouth) onto a work in progress. After gluing the them in place, Palma sometimes reworks this initial positioning of the stones and tears them off, thus asserting power and control over the chance results. The paper bears the scars of such tearing, revealing the artist’s desire to exert determination beyond the traditional methodologies of divination. Palma believes in second, third and fourth chances.
Mónica Palma (Born Mexico City, 1978) is a New York-based artist. She studied visual art at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Veracruz (2002), and received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University (2008). Palma’s work has been shown at TSA (Brooklyn), 245 Varet Street (Brooklyn), Ortega y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn), and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City). monicapalma.com
Read the Review in Art In America, here.