During their residency at HCL, Black and Soto will complete the second part of a two part experimental exhibition entitled Two Histories of the World curated by local independent curator Karsten Lund. This exhibition began one year ago at a former Chicago factory, an immense structure in partial disrepair that became home to a large resale business after the loss of a major manufacturing contract. In October of 2012, four artists conceived and produced new works for this site, using objects and materials culled from a vast stockpile of things inside the building itself. This September, these artists will produce the exhibition all over again, or a new iteration of it, one year later at the Hyde Park Art Center. Last year they began with the faint image of a still life rising out of a sea of objects in a dark alcove of the warehouse. Each object in that still life was unified in a gestalt born out of a single cone of light (one-point-perspective). Our second and final gesture scatters and fragments this singular cone of perspective like light is scattered through a prism. With the creation of many individual still lives bearing the resemblance of the original form, they have created a polychromatic topography through which this year’s audience can traverse, occupying multiple perspectives in relation to each still-life.
Also during their residency Black and Soto will incubate a large scale project called Voyagers. This is the first in a series of “chapters” collectively entitled The Sea is Great Our Boats are Small that will unfold over the next two years. Based on the structural and metaphorical container of a hymn book by the same name, published in 1922, The Sea is Great Our Boats are Small, engages current investigations of temporal architecture, place, and the social platform in contemporary art through a series of project-chapters sited beginning in the American Midwest and West. This first chapter, Voyagers, takes the form of a design-build project which re-envisions a 28-foot wooden boat hull as large-scale sculptural form and unique living quarters for future artist-guests visiting Haven Tree Farm located in southern, Ohio. Following a research intensive at the project site this summer, this project is currently in the design phase and scheduled to begin construction in this coming spring.
Seeking to integrate the literary form of the hymnal with this site-inspired sculpture while in residence at HCL, Soto and Black will also work towards a re-writing of the text and musical score of this first hymn for which the project is named and ultimately towards an inaugural choir performance scheduled for the Spring of 2013 in Ohio. The studio space and cross-disciplinary programming at HCL will serve as fruitful ground for the collaborative research and re-working of this first of ten hymns.
Collaborative artists Jillian Soto and Sara Black have recently initiated a body of projects that: examine the landscape and its horizon as inherently mutable; that consider building, un-building, and migration as primary currents within their collective imaginations (whether literal or metaphorical); and call into requisition the history of objects, forms and texts so that they may carry on with their stories.
Black and Soto’s projects are process driven and responsive to site and context, both materially and conceptually. It is their interest to draw upon multiple forms, infusing the languages of ar chitecture, art and text in the production of their work.