Jul 22nd 2011

New Catalogue and Kandis Williams

@ New Capital

3114 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

Opening Friday, July 22nd, from 7PM - 10PM

On view through Thursday, August 4th

The exhibition NEW CATALOGUE/KANDIS WILLIAMS considers the construction and ownership of social narratives. Facilitated by consumer technologies and design aesthetics, New Catalogue playfully distributes an idealized and literal vision of the present, for the future. Conversely, using abstraction to dredge the swamps of experience and the overwhelming multiplicity of cultural conditions, Kandis Williams betrays any singular historic shape by making works separate from both the subject it studies and the audience it assumes.

New Catalogue presents its visualization of the famed Golden Record created by Carl Sagan and dozens of collaborators. The Golden Record was released into space upon the Voyager spacecrafts 1 & 2 in 1977, to portray the diversity of life and culture on earth to an unknown and unknowable audience. In collaboration with composer Judd Greenstein, and designers Mary Voorhees Meehan and Neil Donnelly, the group will exhibit collaborative documents, recordings, objects, photographs and sounds. These are their initial findings collected during a week-long studio session in Chicago earlier this July for a project to be exhibited at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in 2012.

Kandis Williams produces large-scale black and white collages that track a deeply personal on-going exploration of racial-nationalism, authority, eroticism, magic and violence. For her show as New Capital’s first artist in residence, Williams takes the recent Tanzanian folk conviction that the arms and legs of albinos can be used in magic potions, and weaves copies of a documentary photograph of a severed Tanzanian albino arm into intricate and hypnotic lattice structures.

Using collage as a deliberately hideous metaphor for violence, these repetitive and idiosyncratic nets, formed from specific incidents of sociological chaos, are set against monochromatic gradients, suggestive of deep space and the occurrence of these incidents over time, compounding the horror and fascination with both physical and ideological difference. Williams implicates both herself and the audience in the intoxication of commodity – fetishism, dramatizing the mind’s struggle for truth in moral judgment.

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