In Distal Zone, Karsten Lund responds to the exhibition environment at the Franklin through a series of physical interventions (or interpositions) along with new image-based works. Providing a floating conceptual frame of reference here, the word distal has meanings in the field of geology, where it refers to the outer area affected by geological activity; in anatomy, where it means situated away from the center of the body; and even in psychology or pedagogy where a distal zone represents knowledge to be learned later.
Distal Zone at the Franklin is anchored by a number of collage-related works in various forms, which use found printed matter from past decades as source material, ambiguous footholds in recent eras when there were clearer hierarchies of photographic imagery—now greatly destabilized. Through basic combinations of images or image fragments, equivocal new wholes take shape, forms that often bring distant things together while maintaining hints of their original differentiation. Made using processes that variously incorporate analogue and digital methods, to both intentional and unrehearsed ends, these works shift, sometimes very subtly, between a realm of frictionless images and the physical presence of objects, or at times more overtly between screen and print.
The exhibition also modifies elements of the display space and insinuates itself into other aspects of the domestic infrastructure at the Franklin, spanning the house, the exhibition structure in the backyard, and the fenced-in approach out front. In this respect, the exhibition asks not only how images potentially relate to each other, but also how these various spaces in the exhibition setting—effectively separate yet imbricated—tie together, exploring another set of relations at a (near) distance.
KARSTEN LUND has lived and worked in Chicago since 2007, after completing an MA at the University of Chicago. Most visible as a curator and writer, he maintains an active art practice as well.The works in this exhibition are from a larger, ongoing project that uses collage as a method, various kinds of print imagery as source material, and analogue and digital processes, leveraging both photographic and sculptural concerns. Related works of his have been shown in Chicago at various artist-run spaces, including Peregrine Program, New Capital Projects, and the Bike Room. Lund works as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. He has organized a number of exhibitions at the MCA Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, and other institutions and unconventional sites.
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