SOME BEGINS to Run 7/11-8/24 at 707 Penn Gallery
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of Some Begins, an exhibition exploring the associative and myth-making capacities of objects and text from the collaborative practice of artists Meg Shevenock and Jamie Boyle. The exhibition is on view July 11-August 24, 2014, at 707 Penn Gallery. An opening reception takes place Friday, July 11, 2014, from 5:30-9 p.m., during the Trust's quarterly Gallery Crawl throughout the Cultural District.
Some Begins, a collection of primarily sculptural works that exemplify what Shevenock and Boyle call their "belief in the crazy spirit world of objects," marks the first exhibition devoted solely to their collaborative practice. Only very briefly, over the past seven years, have the artists lived in the same city. This physical distance between them serves as a crucial layer to their belief in the power of objects, their artistic process, and the works on view in Some Begins.
Several of the sculptures in the exhibition are arrangements of accumulated materials and objects, which the artists gleaned from daily life in their separate cities. Shevenock and Boyle's separate-yet at times almost telepathic-experiences, reflected in these physical materials and objects (which in themselves resonate with their own history of use at once understood and unknown) are conflated in these sculptures.
The diaristic configuration of the exhibition allows a narrative to unfold and repeat and overlap through objects and fragments of text.
Rejecting the classification of "found objects" in reference to the materials of their work, the artists place a sense of agency in, and collaboration with, the bits of material-eye glasses, pencils, scraps of written notes, threads and string-that comprise a majority of the works in the show. And, some things become other things: Shevenock and Boyle have created reproductions of some of the objects, recasting them in various forms alongside original artifacts and throughout the exhibition as a means to construct a myth and deepen the felt experience of their materiality and expressive qualities through repetition and repositioning.
"In our initial encounters with these materials, the energy between self and object is palpable, heart-racing, and the ritual of picking items up off the ground feels secretive, like a code that connects us with the past vital lives of the materials now in hand," the artists state. "Very often, we later find evidence of telepathic connection between objects we separately encounter; for instance, one afternoon we both picked up a pair of nearly identical, wireframe glasses."
However, while some of the work feels weighted, it also comes with acknowledgement of the absurd: "Laughter and a sense of humor are also central to our evaluation-recognition that one is not alone in the world and a true miracle is sometimes evinced through the hilarious or outrageous."
A written text, a collusion of the artists' biographic details, both imagined and real, which they refer to as their "mythography," accompanies the exhibition.
Shevenock, who currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and Boyle, from Brooklyn, NY, met in 2006 at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, where they both received an MFA in sculpture. For the past seven years, they have maintained a collaborative practice-making videos, performances, and sculpture-often times relying on what they perceive as a telepathic communication with each other. The artists' collaborative practice is not about making something new; instead, they mine the details of what already exists to unearth a deeply present connectivity between both living beings and inanimate things.