Where do the human body and the physical world intersect, and how does that meeting impact our knowledge of the world and ourselves? In her exploration of these fundamental questions, photographer Sonja Thomsen reads Margaret Fuller and her grand-nephew Buckminster Fuller, gives pride of place to Lucia Moholy, and experiments with prisms of her own design, through sculpture building and picture taking. Her images sometimes involve her and her loved ones’ bodies, though far more gently than did Isaac Newton, whom she notes once attempted to stick a knife into the back of his eye in order to create the image of a rainbow. The result of all this research is You Will Find It Where It Is: A Reader, an artist book published—finally, after various COVID-related printing and release delays—in an edition of 300 by Poor Farm Press, the imprint of artist-curator-gallerist Michelle Grabner. Spiral bound and filled with half pages, vellums and unusual papers, Thomsen’s book is itself an instance of the thing with which it is concerned: direct human experience of the world. No two people will handle it in exactly the same way.
—Lori Waxman 2020-08-09 9:11 AM
062 is pleased to present by her own movement, thomsen’s second iterative exhibition that originates within her book. By her own movement is an evolving installation of photographs, light modulators, and architectural interventions at the gallery by artist sonja thomsen, whose installations present wonder as a radical way to imagine post-patriarchal futures. thomsen’s current fixation with 18th-century mathematician Maria Agnesi’s curve mistranslated into the ‘Witch of Agnesi’ is the wellspring of her intervention at the gallery. This mathematical form is both oculus and womb breeding the dynamic installation. The title of the exhibition borrows from Hélène Cixous’ 1975 essay Laugh of the Medusa where “woman must put herself into the text- as into the world and into history- by her own movement.” As an exercise in embracing entanglements, thomsen welcomed the invitation to experiment within the gallery, conjuring connections between the Witch of Agnesi and the Laugh of Medusa as a place of origin.
As part of sonja thomsen’s installation at 062 “by her own movement”, thomsen will be in conversation with fellow Chicago artist Jen Delos Reyes. The two will discuss the idea of “writing oneself” into being and what it means to create a life and practice that intersects with cultures of care, experimentation, world-building, writing, embodied learning, and collaboration. Both artists will also share from their most recent publications thomsen’s You Will Find it Where it is: A Reader, released in 2020 by Poor Farm Press and Delos Reyes’s forthcoming anthology, Defiantly Optimistic: Turning Up in a World on Fire, Collected Writings 2007-2022.
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