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Cornish Presents Gravity

October 22, 2009

Seattle, WA – Cornish College of the Arts and the Cornish Main Gallery present GRAVITY, an art exhibition guest curated by Marisa C. Sánchez, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum. Through a selection of photography and video works, GRAVITY probes the ways in which contemporary artists give expression to the gradual and often imperceptible shifts in daily life and experience. Works by Johanna Billing, Margot Quan Knight, Dave McKenzie and Demetrius Oliver give focus to the degrees in which change and impermanence affect us. Often highlighting familiar objects and mundane encounters, these works highlight a human impulse to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity.

Hovering between representation and documentation, Demetrius Oliver’s Orbiter, a slide projection of a supposed “black hole” along with a suite of seven photographs from the artist’s Firmament series (2007 – 2008) suspend time and place. The artist captures reflections of improvised compositions he created in domestic interiors, resulting in works that embody a sense of weightlessness and reveal Oliver’s interest in the accidental. Dave McKenzie’s Slide Show (2009), a work comprised of approximately 3,000 found 35mm slides is an accumulation of thousands of diverse images that are then projected via a slide projector in random order over the course of the exhibit. This flood of images highlights the abundance and overload of images circulating in contemporary culture, giving evidence to sensory overload and the individual’s inability to often reason with the onslaught of image production. No two viewing experiences of this object are the same, further revealing McKenzie’s desire to relinquish control over the final product and allow chance to be a guiding principle in his work. Margot Quan Knight’s portraits of her grandmother in Silver Portraits (2008) distill in their very process the natural evolution of decay and eventual disappearance of both the image and the sitter. In an attempt to mimic the aging process, the surface of Quan Knight’s photographs will eventually tarnish thereby obscuring the image of her grandmother over time.  Johanna Billing’s film “Where She is at” (2001) offers a view of a young girl attempting to dive off a high dive. At once mundane, and yet in another instance entirely dramatic and monumental, the film is a poignant metaphor for individual growth and life experience.

November 3 – December 11, 2009
Opening Reception: November 4, 5-8pm

Curated by Marisa C. Sánchez, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum

Cornish Main Gallery
1st Floor
1000 Lenora Street
Jess Van Nostrand, Exhibitions Curator

More About the Artists

Johanna Billing (born 1973, Jönköping, Sweden. Lives and works in Stockholm) is a 1999 graduate of Konstfack /Konstfack International College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. Solo shows of her work have included I’m Lost Without Your Rhythm, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK Touring to MOMA, Oxford and Arnolfini, Bristol in 2009; You don’t love me yet at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, 2008; This is How We Walk on the Moon. Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2008; Another Album and other films, Jönköpings Konstmuseum, Jönköping, 2007; Songs, Cities & Circles, Basis, Frankfurt, 2006; and Magical World at Standard Oslo, Norway and P.S.1, New York in 2006, among others. Group shows have included Time Out of Joint: Recall and Evocation in Recent Art, The Kitchen, New York, 2009; Project for a Revolution, Kunthaus Graz, Graz in 2008; Just Play – Music as Social Practice at the Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Oldenburg in 2008; Here We Dance, Tate Modern 2008; and PLAYBACK, Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris, France, 2006, to name a few. Screenings of her work have been shown at Witte de With’s, Film Festival, Rotterdam 2007; Beyond Cinema. The Art of Projection. Films, videos and installations from 1963 to 2005, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum. Berlin, 2006; Staring into Space, Temp d”Images Festival, Trafo, Budapest 2006; Time- Based Art Festival, PICA, Portland, Oregon 2006; and Music for people, Filmscreening, DCA Dundee Contemporary Art Center Dundee 2006. This is How We Walk on the Moon was included in Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany in 2007. She was a recipient of The Edstrandska Foundation Prize in 2003 and was a residenct at The International Artists’ Studio Program in Sweden in 1999. Billing is represented by Hollybush Gardens, London and Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL.

Margot Quan Knight (born 1977, lives and works in Seattle, WA) received an MFA in Photography from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York in 2009 and a BA in Studio Art from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire in 1999. From 2000 – 2002, she was an artist resident at FABRICA, Villorba, Italy. Solo exhibitions of her work include Sur face, 911 Media Arts Center, Seattle, WA; There and Now, James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA; Intervals, Randall Scott Gallery, Washington, DC; On Time, GAS Art Gallery, Turin, Italy; Margot Quan Knight, California State university, Chico, CA, among others. Her work has been in group shows including The Beauty of the Mistake, curated by PuppenHaus Associacao Cultural, Lisbon, Portugal, 2009; Tales from an Imaginary Menagerie, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA, 2009; Uber Portrait, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA, 2009; Storytellers, GAS Art Gallery, Turin Italy, 2008 and Fabrica: Les Yeux Ouverts, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2006, among others. She was an artist in residence at 911 Media Arts Center, Seattle, WA from November 2008 – April 2009, and she was a recipient of an Artist Trust Grant, Seattle, WA in 2009 and 2005. She is represented by James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA.

Dave McKenzie (born 1977 in Kingston, Jamaica) received a BFA in printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2000. Solo shows have included On Premises, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA, 2009; Screen Doors on Submarines, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA, 2008; Momentum 8: Dave McKenzie, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, 2007; and Tomorrow will be Better, Small A Projects, then Portland, OR, 2007. Group shows include Unusual Behavior, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009; Character Generator, Eleven Rivington, New York, NY, 2009; Convention, MOCA, North Miami, FL, 2009; To the left of the rising sun, Small A Projects, New York, 2009; Prospect 1 New Orleans, International Biennial, New Orleans, 2008; Museum as Hub: Six Degrees, New Museum, New York, NY, 2008; Black Is Black Ain’t, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2008; You & Me, Sometimes, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY, 2008; Performa 07 Biennial: All Together Now, New York, NY, 2007; Listening to New Voices at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York, 2002; and Freestyle, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, NY, 2001; among others. He is the recipient of the William H. Johnson Prize in 2005 and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. He shows with Susanne Vielmetter Los Angles Projects, Culver City, CA.

Demetrius Oliver (born 1975, Brooklyn, NY) received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998. He currently lives and works in New York. Solo shows of his work include Sidereal, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 2009; Mare, FAB Lab, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 2009; Observatory D’Amelio Terras Gallery, NY, 2008; Firmament I, Inman Gallery, Houston, 2008; Perspective 153/Compass the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2006; Demetrius Oliver, P.S.1 MoMA Project Space, 2006; and Demetrius Oliver, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA, 2006, among others. Group shows have included Your Gold Teeth II, Marianne Boesky Gallery, NY, 2009; 1992009, D’Amelio Terras, NY, 2009; Black Is Black Ain’t, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, IL, 2008; Making Do 2, Green Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2007; Frequency, Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, NY, 2005; and Round 21, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, 2004, to name a few. Oliver was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2004; a resident at the Studio Museum in Harlem, 2006 - 07; a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 2004 -06; and in 2007 received a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Art Grant. He is represented by D’Amelio Terras Gallery, NY and Inman Gallery, Houston.

For additional information, to request images, or set up an exhibition preview, please contact Meike Kaan or Beth Fleenor.

About Cornish College of the Arts

Cornish College of the Arts is nationally recognized as a premier college of the visual and performing arts offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in dance, theater, art, design and performance production, and a Bachelor of Music degree. A pioneer in arts education, Cornish College of the Arts sprang from the remarkable vision of Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle when it was scarcely more than a frontier town. Her philosophy of educating the artist through exposure to all the arts was progressive at the time, and continues to be innovative today.