Mar 24th 2022

Lydia Diemer: Transparencies Also Cast Shadows

@ NEIU Fine Arts Center Gallery

5500 N St. Louis Ave, Building E, Chicago, IL 60625

Opening Thursday, March 24th, from 5:30PM - 7:30PM

On view through Friday, March 25th

Lydia Diemer
Transparencies Also Cast Shadows

There is a table. I am seated, maybe hovering. I am a locus of small events, repeated actions, all concepts contingent, unfolding. The tabletop is even, stable and continuously alterable. It is a place where I am surrounded by glimmers and shadows of paper essays, my tactile attempts. The room itself contains and shelters. Included are my first sights, remnants of all the houses I’ve ever lived in, dreamed of, or escaped. These live beside reams of drawn dots, piles of constructions, found scraps, pieces of a practice. Light arranges itself, shifts, fetching darkness, stacking near formless replicas, the enduring connections of then and now.

My practice is acquisitive. I have been and remain a hoarder of found things and consumables, but also my own creative leftovers, the misprints, the remaining slivers. Proposing an attentiveness to what is overlooked and abandoned, I place detritus, organic matter, and precarious facsimiles of quotidian forms into proximities and interdependencies. I create drawings, prints, and installations that explore the entanglement of humans and non-humans at the peripheries of built space. Circuits of production and transformation, from raw material to façade to rubble, trail through my excavations and imagining of temporal vignettes, ecological networks, and pliable memories of the future. I work with the entropic forces of time, the careworn qualities paused or accelerated, and the associative seeps of objects, textures, relays and blindsight, trying to craft a plan for reuse or display. I meditate upon the ways in which matter becomes vibrant, fungible, rudderless, grace.

Transparencies Also Cast Shadows compiles my recent reflections on stasis, sheltering, and precarity. In this site-specific installation, I use my collection of found, printed, and constructed items as a starting point to articulate the agency of nonhuman matter and track my relationship to ephemerality and loss. The exhibition also includes an installation using starch-based collage created by NEIU students in printmaking and drawing courses with my guidance. Students were asked to address a series of questions pertaining to their own temporal experience of the last two years, to wonder at opaque concealment and moments of clarity. In conversation, they relayed thoughts of maze-like chaos countered by containment as well as moments of bright beauty transitioning into muted doom and back again. The screenprints, relief prints, and drawings they created were cut-up, rearranged, and collaged into a collaborative piece on the north wall of the gallery.

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