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Polypersephony: Nayland Blake & Claire Pentecost

September 12 – October 11, 2014

There are two of us, so here are some pairings: shapers and shaped, intrusions and protrusions. Things that make an impression and those that have been impressed upon. Above the ground and the Underground, A side and B Side, center stage and backstage. All that glitters is gold, while beneath our feet the hammers ring and delvers dig ever deeper. We all carry an entrance, a cavern, a place of darkness and quiet. Where the sun don't shine.

– Nayland Blake

A young woman visits the underworld and gets a taste of something the light could never reveal to her. She will never be the same. Her mother, who happens to be the goddess of the harvest, is devastated because her daughter is changed, is no longer growing only towards the light. The daughter has launched roots, feeling their way in darkness, feeding on the fruits of decay, on the ongoing fruits of measureless life, past and passing into the present, which was always the future until today. The underground is where things transform. Dearest Persephone, please be advised, we can’t protect you from loving the dark.

– Claire Pentecost

Claire Pentecost (b. 1956 Baltimore, lives Chicago) is an artist engaging diverse strategies including research, writing, drawing, and installation, to interrogate the organization and control of knowledge, and specifically, in recent years, regarding the politics of food. Collaborations include Critical Art Ensemble, 16Beaver, Compass and Continental Drift; with exhibitions including dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel, Germany; Higher Pictures, NY; Murray Guy, NY; Orchard, NY; INOVA, Milwaukee; The Suburban, Oak Park, IL; Three Walls, Chicago; Corcoran Museum, D.C.; Milwaukee Art Museum; Whitney Museum, Stamford, CT; Transmediale 05, Berlin; American Fine Arts, NY; among others. Awards and residencies include the 2014 Artist in Residence Program at Headlands Center for the Arts, California; Chamberlain Awardee, 2004 Bellagio Residency, Italy; Banff Center for the Arts Residency; and grants from the Illinois Arts Council and Art Matters. Pentecost is a professor in the Department of Photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is represented by Higher Pictures Gallery, NY.

Nayland Blake (b. 1960 New York City, lives Brooklyn) is an artist using performance, sculpture, video, installation, and other practices to explore the complexities of representation while striving to engage artistic and S&M communities, simultaneously. His writing has been published in Artforum, Interview, Out, Outlook, and numerous exhibition catalogues, and exhibitions include Matthew Marks, NY; Yerba  Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Center for Art and Visual Culture, University of Maryland; The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, New York; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; New Museum, NY; International Center of Photography, NY; and The Studio Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; ICA Philadelphia; among others. Blake is currently Chair, of the MFA program at the International Center of Photography, and is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery, NY.


"Review: Nayland Blake and Claire Pentecost/Iceberg Projects"
(Christopher Back, Newcity)
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