La MaMa Galleria presents Shanna Maurizi and Corinne Spencer for its final exhibition of Spring 2019, curated by Elise Gardella. By their variant investigations, the artists invoke the vastness of the unnamed and the unseen. They go beneath the surface to search, explore—to see and bring into our view the revelations of their questions.
Maurizi queries the categorization of the solid and the ephemeral, blurring the division of moment and memory, knowing they create each other. Spencer’s process is intuitive, existing outside of an explicit narrative. She draws from a multitude of sources spanning the disciplines of dance, theater, performance art, film, and sound to create lush, textured work which operate in the realm of emotion, sensation, and spiritual experience.
In Shanna Maurizi’s new work in film and cast glass, ideas become solid objects and vice versa, as if shape is a thought form and these forms are imprinted on our memory. Her incantatory 6-minute film was created from hundreds of analog photographs, compiled directly from the camera roll without any editing. The photographs sequence through landscapes and domestic interiors, snapshot and documentary conceit carrying equal weight.
Iteratively etched into the prints’ surface are contour drawings of different objects; a conjoined pyramid and a sphere which shift and travel as the film plays. The film returns again and again to the intangible, inscrutable shape of something that perhaps can’t be seen at all, always out of view, forming through remote viewing. These archetypal shapes, manifesting form in cast black glass, struggle to become real. Formed themselves by the transmuting of base elements, the sculptures broadcast a cryptic impenetrability. Here, photographic and casting processes mirror each other as impressions of the actual, tangible form. Maurizi engages the question of the permanence of images and the slippery nature of memory, measuring the loss inherent to any reproduction.
Corinne Spencer’s Time is a river… is a selection from her ongoing video installation cycle, HUNGER. Born from a profound, spontaneous occurrence in which Spencer experienced the abrupt removal of all boundaries between herself and the world, HUNGER explores ecstatic interconnection and the trauma of alienation—extrapolating from this singular, personal incident, a mythologized journey into longing, emptiness, desire, rapture, and love. Weaving a path with video, sound, light and sculpture, HUNGER creates a pulsing landscape through which the viewer is guided underground into the shimmering depths of the psychic interior.
Spencer’s work is rooted in the black feminine body as it moves through space, unbound by time and history. She creates lush, textured work that lives in the realm of emotion, sensation, and spiritual experience. Here the black feminine body becomes the container of the universe—the gateway, path, and vehicle through which she excavates the mystery, profanity, and magic of an interior landscape rich in tension and contradiction. The interior landscape is measured and lawless, dangerous and sensuous, resilient and frail. She works with these tensions, stitching together artifice and authenticity, fantasy and reality, violence and desire, the mythological and the mundane to create sensorial, tactile work, which places both movement and material at its center.
Shanna Maurizi is an artist and experimental filmmaker living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Her films and expanded cinema have garnered festival awards and screened at venues such as Anthology Film Archives and the Ende Tymes Festival in NYC, Other Cinema, the Lab and SF Cinematheque in San Francisco, the Rotterdam Kunsthal and V1B3 in London, and she was nominated for best emerging director at VisionFest Tribeca Cinemas. Her works on paper have been shown at Famous Accountants, Songs for Presidents and Observatory in NYC, unFAIR Miami Beach, the Santa Monica Museum of Art and Gallery 825 in Los Angeles among many others. Her short film Late Night with Carl Sagan premiered at NewFilmmakers NYC, and her recent film Sunken Treasure won the Art and Science Award at the 56th Ann Arbor Film Festival, and also received a 2019 Foundation for Contemporary Art grant for a theatrical screening at the Art Kino Croatia. She is originally from California and holds an MFA from California College of the Arts and a BA in Photography from San Francisco State University.
Corinne Spencer is a video artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 2010 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, 2014; in 2015 the city of Boston commissioned a presentation of her ongoing video installation, HUNGER. Segments of HUNGER have been widely screened: Hysteria, Hysterical Feminisms; Divisions, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Project Space; Samson Projects, NADA NY; Mother Salon, Lucid Body House; FEM_BODIED, Pittsburgh Filmmakers; Women Between Arts, The New School. Solo exhibitions include: Like Muscle to the Bone, PearlArts, Pittsburgh, PA; This Eternal Thread, Inner Fields, Brooklyn, NY; HUNGER, BAAD!, Bronx, NY. Spencer has received a St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award; a Franklin Furnace Grant, and was resident visiting artist at the inaugural session of Pearl Diving Movement Residency, Pittsburgh, PA. She is a 2019 MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow and currently in residence at the Meerkat Media Collective, Brooklyn, NY.
Founded in 1984, LaMaMa Galleria is a nonprofit gallery committed to nurturing experimentation in the visual arts.It serves the East Village community by offering diverse programming to an inter-generational audience, and expanding the parameters of a traditional gallery space. As a non-profit, La Galleria is able to provide artists and curators with unique exhibition opportunities that are largely out of reach in a commercial gallery setting.