Mixed Me­dia

Jill O’Bryan’s Map­ping Res­o­nance

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS -

The mesa­lands south of Las Ve­gas, with their cliffs and metate-like de­pres­sions, make a charged en­vi­ron­ment for artist Jill O’Bryan. Feel­ing the pres­ence of peo­ple who were there long ago — “grind­ing corn and cook­ing in a lo­ca­tion that’s also an amaz­ing look­out,” as she de­scribes her “fan­tasy sce­nario” there — she spreads a large sheet of pa­per on a boul­der and rubs graphite over it. Sev­eral of the re­sult­ing frot­tages are in­cluded in her in­stal­la­tion Map­ping Res­o­nance at the Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts.

O’Bryan and her hus­band, artist Charles Ross, spend their win­ters in New York and sum­mers in New Mex­ico. For her, the Land of En­chant­ment of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties to fo­cus on the body’s in­ter­ac­tion with the harsh desert land. “This work is process-ori­ented in the sense that it’s not just about be­ing in the body but about ex­pand­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing in the body out­ward. The rock rub­bings are record­ings of those events,” she told Pasatiempo.

Also in the CCA ex­hi­bi­tion are her ink- and tea-blot Metate paint­ings, a se­ries of large cone-shaped plas­ter ves­sels, and two ex­am­ples of her “breath draw­ings.” These are in­tri­cate grids of marks, each one made in the shape of a square, a tri­an­gle, a comma, a line, a wob­bly line, or a frag­ment of script, and each is made in the time it takes for her to make one breath: one in­hala­tion and one ex­ha­la­tion. “I draw them one on top of the other 20 times be­fore I reach the next sec­tion. I do these in marathon draw­ing ses­sions that are also med­i­ta­tions. Each one is per­haps six hours and that doesn’t get me through more than five or six rows. They take a long time to make. What’s im­por­tant to me is that the process in some way im­bues them with the time spent mak­ing them and that that some­how comes across.”

She con­ceives the rub­bings as re­lat­ing to the ground, the ink draw­ings as just above the ground, and the cones as close to the sky: “They’re about try­ing to cap­ture the sky or in some way re­flect the sky or ex­pand out to­ward the sky.” Map­ping Res­o­nance opens in the Muñoz Wax­man Gallery at CCA (1050 Old Pe­cos Trail, 505-982-1338) on Fri­day, Jan. 13, with a re­cep­tion from 6 to 8 p.m. The piece runs through March 12 con­cur­rently with

Madelin Coit’s In­ter­face, an in­stal­la­tion based on re­pur­posed copies of THE Mag­a­zine in the cen­ter’s Spector Ripps Project Space. Both artists talk about their work at CCA on Satur­day, Jan. 14: Coit at 12:30 p.m. and O’Bryan at 2 p.m. There is no charge for these events. — Paul Wei­de­man

Jill O’Bryan, photo Ali­son Sirico

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