SAAG opens new exhibitions by Laurie Kang and Delcy Morelos

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SAAG opens new exhibitions by Laurie Kang and Delcy Morelos
Installation view.

LETHBRIDGE.- The Southern Alberta Art Gallery announces its presentation of two exhibitions this fall: Laurie Kang's Eidetic Tides and Delcy Morelos' Mother's Surface. The exhibitions are on view December 7, 2019 through February 16, 2020.

Delcy Morelos | Mother's Surface
Delcy Morelos grew up in Córdoba, one of the areas most impacted by armed confrontations over land and resources in the late twentieth century in Colombia. This exposure to strife and violence has been channeled into her work in a variety of ways, including an exigent exploration of different hues of red, ranging from the palest blush to the darkest brown.

In recent installations, Morelos has worked with soil, soliciting its material properties, blended colours, richness and potency as fertile matter. The use of soil also signifies a return to the roots, to understand soil as one extensive organism that we are part of, with which we become one:

“I am living earth, creative, fertile, vital. Soil is the origin, the base, the common ground; ancestral and revered since it is a fundamental principle of our exchange with life. In fact, the soil is the skin of the earth; when stripped of its vegetative layer, the landscape looks naked, bare, it shows its colour.”

Thus, for Delcy Morelos, colour is both a property of painting and a cultural construction. It is the colour of the skin that we embrace or reject, the colour of the fertile ground and the colour of the wasteland. Just as it is also the colour of the soil from where violence originates and spreads.

In Mother’s Surface, Morelos exposes us to an expanse of colour, a scented body of soil, cocoa and cloves, a landscape painfully exposed to remind us of the primordial need to connect every living thing with a place of origin, to link with cycle of living where life and death succeed each other.

For Morelos, working with soil requires humility and respect. It entails accepting that soil is a living organism that responds autonomously to the conditions imposed upon her. A large part of humanity has constructed a relationship of domination over nature based on an erroneous premise separating humans from the world. Delcy Morelos’ soil installations make manifest humans as extensions of and belonging to the earth upon which we walk.

The separation between matter and thought turns the soil into dirt, and thought into a disjointed and fractured practice. Delcy Morelos’ work is an invitation to recover our ancestral ability to communicate with the earth, keeping us close to the ground with ears open. Even if we have stopped listening, the earth still speaks to us, testifying that, despite all the violence, we have not yet reached the end of our species.

Curated by Mariangela Méndez Prencke.

Laurie Kang | Eidetic Tides
Laurie Kang’s entropic, deconstructed photography installations provide an embodied experience of how eidetic imagery can be carried within us. As afterimages are stored within our memories, Kang’s process-driven practice merges the inner forms of architectural structures with unfixed photographic images that are continually responsive to light and surrounding site conditions.

Kang’s experimental use of the core elements of photography: exposure to light, alchemical reactions and reflection as a replication of a reality, become a technical ground for her work to comment on her own personal and cultural history, interests in genetics, feminist theory and future fictions. Paired with natural and synthetic sculptural objects, such as silicone and rubber vessels embedded and punctuated with material markers, Kang’s installations create a spatial constellation in flux, intended to evolve over time.

The curvilinear and organic flexible wall track forms forged by Kang become a permeable structure for light to respond to the exposed images. Applied as metaphor and a malleable and responsive surface, the images change over time and in response to their environment, much as a skin stretching and accommodating an endoskeletal sculptural framework. Kang states, “My work exists in literal and metaphoric states of becoming and unfixity, and this deconstructive strategy aims to continually build, break down and rebuild.”

Curated by Kristy Trinier
Laurie Kang is an artist currently based in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited at Interstate Projects and Topless, New York; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Cooper Cole, 8-11, The Loon, Gallery TPW, Franz Kaka, and Carl Louie, Toronto; Remai Modern, Saskatoon; Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran and L’inconnue, Montreal; Raster Gallery, Warsaw; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Poland; and Camera Austria, Graz. She has been artist-in-residence at Rupert, Vilnius; Tag Team, Bergen; The Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Alberta; and Interstate Projects, Brooklyn. She holds an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.

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