For her exhibition at 4th Ward Project Space, Heather Mekkelson draws upon how power lines create visual planes that bisect the sky outside her home under a light-pollution cloud cover. With both mathematical and mystical sequences, Mekkelson knots and braids paracords, toned to shades of light-pollution mauve, that tether and stretch elastic bands across the exhibition space. Here, the elastic and orthogonal planes create new perspectives and conjure personal infinities. In Absentia Luci, thus, considers the fundamental constructs of time, space, and number that humans use to comprehend their place in the universe.
Heather Mekkelson’s sculptures and installations are abstract assemblages that reflect upon cosmology, perspective, and the task of human consciousness to locate itself. Working from a neutral, non-hierarchical ground where everything is equally material, she incorporates found objects alongside the fabricated. Her investigations that range from space-time and theories of relativity to mysticism, ancient civilizations, scientific apparatuses, and what can be observed in her immediate surroundings always give way to her artistic intuition. In this manner, Mekkelson bypasses and encapsulates plain intelligence to target the essence of a thing.
Mekkelson is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Born in New York, raised in dozens of East Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern locations, she is currently based in Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in group shows in galleries and institutions nationally since 2001; it has been featured in Art Journal, Art21 Magazine, Artforum.com, Artnet, Flavorpill, Hyperallergic, Newcity, and Time Out Chicago. She has been the recipient of several fellowships and grants including the 2012 Artadia Award. Mekkelson is represented by 65GRAND.
This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, astate agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.