ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Sensors for the Unsound, a solo exhibition of new work by Jeremy Bolen in Gallery One.
Chicago, IL, September 12, 2015– ANDREW RAFACZ begins the fall season with Sensors for the Unsound, a solo exhibition of photographs, paintings and sculpture by Jeremy Bolen. The exhibition continues through Saturday, October 31, 2015.
For Jeremy Bolen’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, the artist presents new works that act as evolving records for unseen and unresolved energies still emanating from charged sites and objects impacting every aspect of our existence. Bolen’s multi-disciplinary approach splits his time between the studio and the field. He travels widely, researching and using his field recordings to ignite a studio practice that incorporates his experimental site documentation with materials, residues and traces. With a strong belief in materials, Bolen envisions matter as having the ability to act as a sensor to the unsound. Natural materials can act as sensors that collectively ignite a visual language and create a presence that transcends linear language.
Bolen’s work illuminates the lasting results of our current Anthropocene Era. Humankind is now influencing every aspect of the Earth on a level similar to the large-scale forces of nature. Our collective actions as human beings have brought us into uncharted territory that we do not have the proper tools or knowledge to understand, leading scientific discourse towards the notion that we are in a new geological epoch. Using experimental documentary techniques, the artist collects information and material from a number of seemingly disparate sites, connected by the impact human intervention and manipulation has had on them. Over the last four years, the artist has engaged in field research in both Vieques, Puerto Rico, where significant military testing took place for over 60 years and Ottawa, Illinois, where young women painted clock dials with radium laced luminescent paint beginning in 1920. He has returned to these specific locations regularly, with the dedication of a scientific researcher, steadfastly collecting data and expanding his scientific and visual language.
The artist uses a multi-media approach to present his research as hybrid art objects. The framed photographic works Undark/Ottawa #1 – #4 operate as studies of the still-present energies emanating from the clocks painted by female dial painters. In recent years, Bolen has collected many of these antique clocks whose glow has long ago faded, and discovered that through subjecting them to a high powered blast of light, he can reactivate the glow for a millisecond in an attempt to capture the momentary luminescence with a camera and photographic film. The film from these investigations is then left with the clocks for several weeks absorbing the radiating energy and scarring it with sublime, ghostly images and patterns. These filmic documents of latent radiation are then framed by neutral photographic paper painted with the wash from the original film’s development in the dark room.
Other works in the exhibition offer a disparate language of collected and considered materials including window screening, erosion pads, lawn seed blankets, industrial rubberizer and particles of negative photographic film. These too act as sensors helping us reconsider the dynamic tension present and the potential for extending our own sensory capabilities within the natural world.
JEREMY BOLEN (American, b. 1977) lives and works in Chicago. He received his MFA from UIC in 2012. He is a recent recipient of the OxBow Faculty Artist Residency in Saugatuck, MI; Anthropocene Curriculum Campus Artist in Residence at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; Center for Land Use Interpretation Residency in Wendover, Utah and Joshua Tree Highlands Residency in Joshua Tree, CA. His work has been widely exhibited in galleries and institutions, including Galerie Zürcher, Paris; Salon Zürcher, New York; The Drake, Toronto; Untitled Art Fair, Miami; Depaul University Art Museum, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, and Roots and Culture, Chicago. His work was recently included in Ghost Nature at La Box, Bourges, France and Gallery 400, Chicago; Fragments of an Unknowable World, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Lateral, The Mission, Houston, TX; and Phantoms in the Dirt, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL. He is included in numerous private and public collections.