Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Temporarily Removed, a solo exhibition by BOLT Resident, SaraNoa Mark.
Art in its earliest incarnation was painted on and carved into rock, establishing the coexistence of image, meaning and place. The exhibition Temporarily Removed asks what becomes of materials that are extracted from their places of origin.
Landscapes touched by wind and water are worn away over time, carved first with creases and cracks, and ultimately ground into sand, making visible the repeated actions of the elements over expanses of time. Low relief sculptures in the exhibition count time by recreating drawings made on the earth by natural processes in clay.
When a landscape completes this geological journey, stationary stones are transformed into a more restless substance. The color, size, and shape of sand particles are specific to their geographic origins, yet sand is migratory. It rushes down riverbeds and blows in a dusty cloud from the Sahara to the Gulf of Mexico. We travel untold distances to connect with this legacy of stone and water. And at times we reverse this journey, bringing the portable components of these landscapes back as collectors, researchers, miners, and thieves.
Seeking to understand the impulse to collect land, Mark displays an assemblage of sand gathered from around the world, through travel, personal relationships, and Internet commerce. Sand samples are invariably identified by their place of origin, but their ability to be gathered belies a static understanding of object, place, and borders. Mark’s collection presented in ceramic sandboxes is arranged as a borderless geography. Drawing extensively from museum displays —the primary public repositories of relocated objects—repurposed museum materials are used to create much of the work in the exhibition. Museum armatures exhibited alongside the sand collection and low relief sculptures crafted from a recently disassembled museum wall meditate on the absence of displaced objects from their places of origin.
SaraNoa Mark (b. 1991 New York, NY) pursues a drawing practice that reflects a desire to evidence the constant and invisible activity of time. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, SaraNoa Mark was recognized with a travel scholarship that supported a visual pilgrimage to Europe’s museums, cave paintings, and natural sites. Mark’s work was supported by a grant from The John Anson Kittredge Fund. She has been an artist in residence at The Lois and Charles X. Carlson Painting Residency, Sedona Summer Colony, Art Kibbutz, and the Montello Foundation. SaraNoa Mark is a Director at the 4th Ward Project Space in Chicago. She also works as a museum guard at the Oriental Institute, building an intimate relationship from its antiquities collection. SaraNoa Mark is currently a BOLT resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition.