SARAHCROWN is pleased to announce darkness VISIBLE, the first solo exhibition by Simone Couto in New York.
This exhibition is about light, darkness, and what veers in between the body – the body veering as a rolling stone. This exhibition is also about landscape and our physical and emotional relationship to it. This exhibition is, firstly, a display of artworks and, secondly, an observatory.
1. Every journey through time and space gives us the opportunity to tune in to the surroundings and ourselves. So it was with the artist’s discovery of Iceland, its landscape, its materials, and, ultimately, with the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. Departing from a personal place, the journey soon became the discovery of Anicca (or Anitya), one of the essential Buddhist doctrines that asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is transient, evanescent, and inconstant. All physical and mental events come into being and dissolve. Human life embodies this flux in the aging process, the cycle of repeated birth and death. Nothing lasts and everything decays, which is applicable to all beings and their environs, and landscape as well.
2. All of our experiences are registered in both a physical and mental memory. When our body moves within a certain terrain, our brain registers the surroundings and our muscles memorize any encountered resistance or harmony. The physical and mental practices (Aikido and Zen) that the artist learned in order to do the work were ultimately combined forces through the path of reciprocity between body and space.
The discovery of these concepts and the possibility of finding living evidence in nature, especially in the magical volcanic landscape of Eyjafjallajökull, led to a series of deep and complex works which emphasize two important aspects: where we stand as humans between the natural world (landscape) and the fabricated world (city), and the potential of change that lies in everything and everywhere.
Installed following the geography of a fictional landscape, darkness VISIBLE is a collection of drawings, sculptures, videos, and a mandala oil painting, all born out of Couto’s engagement with the landscape of Iceland combined with the above-mentioned physical and mental creative exercises. The viewer is invited to enter the work as an observer as well as an active participant of a similar emotional journey.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a sound composition, made specifically by sound artist and composer Brian Mountford; a comprehensive catalog; and a Butoh movement performance by the artist herself during the opening reception.
A panel discussion with Minumus (Art and Theory Collective: Hovey Brock, Donna Cleary, Simone Couto, Alexandra Hammond), Sarah Crown (curator and art historian), Jaewook Lee (interdisciplinary artist and art critic), Brian Mountford (composer and musician), Alistair Miur (geologist), and moderator Hovey Brock (artist and art historian) will be held at the end of the exhibition on March 24.
Opening: March 11, 2018, 4–6 p.m.
Location: El Museo de Los Sures 120 S 1st St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
On view: March 11–24, 2018
Public hours: Daily 12–6 p.m. and by appointment
Panel: March 24, 4–6 p.m.
Image credits: Simone Couto, Mountains of the Islands, 2017, video (still of video), 6 min.