Ornithology is a two-person exhibition of works on
paper by Monique Luchetti and Barbara Kendrick.
Kendricks work takes the form of framed collages
and Luchetti exhibits large human-sized drawings and video projected
onto the floor of the gallery.
We are alive in a world where the distinction between
what we know to be human and what we believe to be animal is shrinking.
Kendricks and Luchettis works on paper use images of
birds to speak of the ways our lives are inextricably tied together,
interdependent and bound to the earth for survival.
Kendrick admires birds ability to survive and
adapt to new, sometimes hostile, environments. She likes the way
they build nests in the alphabet of signs on storefronts, or gather
cigarette butts to line their nests. As she makes her collages,
she tries to match her own sense of improvisation with that of the
birds. Each collage opens up new questions about our connection
to the way the birds live in our world. The birds change roles:
survivor or victim? dominant or submissive? present or absent?
Luchetti sifts through museums ornithology collections
as if they were cemeteries, gleaning the identities of the birds
for her drawings from the bodies they have left behind, preserved
and tagged by humans for further study. She resurrects the lifeless
birds, frozen in position, and infuses them with a soul/essence,
with a life she imagines for them. Luchettis drawings are
a meditation of loss and remembering, and on the contradiction inherent
in humans, racing to collect, classify, and catalog species, as
they continue to haplessly destroy the same species through climate
change and the devastation of the planets forests and oceans.
This exhibition is showing at the Giertz Gallery,
Parkland College, Champaign, IL from October 1 to November 7, 2015.
It is accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Timothy van Laar,
Director of Fine Arts, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI
Barbara Kendricks collages operate
like a cat among the pigeons. Collage is a medium of rupture and
re-contextualization. Every piece of a collage works to create something
new but at the same time connects to its past use. Her works create
complex psychological spatial organizations that flow back and forth
between the anxieties of the abject and the sublime. Kendricks
collages have an improvisational twisting and turning that is as
unpredictable yet as purposeful as a murmuration of starlings. Her
references to birds shift in their roles, grotesque and beautiful,
aggressive and submissive, survivor and victim. They have textures
and contrasts that turn from the elegance of egrets to the bleak,
stark harshness of crows and then back again. Collage always suggests
absence, something came from somewhere else, and Kendricks
intense image fragments manipulate this psychological potential
into assertive, energetic turns of desire and loss.
Tim van Laar
Ornithology: Work by Barbara Kendrick and Monique Luchetti