THE QUICK AND THE DEAD | Brian Molanphy
Closing Reception Saturday, November 16, 2019 , 3 - 6p | 411 N Beaton St, Corsicana. Available to view from gallery windows and by appointment.
The Quick & the Dead is inspired by Kazim Ali & Yoshikawa Masamichi among many others. Instead of solemn solid elegiac containers preserving content, it bursts at the seams in irrational exuberance. Empty, it wears its content on its sleeve – the texture & drawing of the surface. The ubiquity of the blue & white tradition is the launching pad, passing particularly through the rose terra cotta & pale blue majolica of Marseille. Sofía Bastidas curated the exhibition of work by Brian Molanphy.
FINITE BODIES IN INFINITE TIME
Essay by Allison Klion on residency work by Edison Peñafiel and Rachel Wolfson Smith.
Rachel Wolfson Smith’s immersive drawings of the renowned Dutch landscape architect, Piet Oudolf’s personal garden, Hummelo, the artist explains, reflect her interest in deconstructing complicated patterns as a way to arrive at higher truths. Working from dozens of source images taken during a visit to Hummelo last year, shortly before it closed to the public, scribbling notes and thoughts on the paper as they arrive to her, erasing selectively as she works, Wolfson Smith makes no attempt to meticulously recreate a picture of the garden exactly as it was. Instead, she writes, “the thought processes becomes marked as a record of time on the page.” More than this, each one of Wolfson Smith’s drawings does not reproduce a place in time, but is, to borrow from the art critic John Berger, “an autobiographical record of [her] discovery of an event—seen, remember, or imagined.”
Best known as an art critic and writer—though he trained as a painter as well—Berger wrote extensively and passionately on drawing, articulating both the act and the object with the intimacy of a lifelong practitioner. “For the artist,” Berger reminds readers, “drawing is discovery.” A drawn mark, more than recording what is, serves as a guide to lead the artist to see further. “Each confirmation or denial brings you closer to the object, until finally you are, as it that were, inside of it: the contours you have drawn no longer marking the edge of what you have seen, but the edge of what you have become.” The act of drawing quite literally merges artist and drawn image together—a shared subjectivity.
Standing before these immense graphite drawings, I become acutely aware of my body in space. I have two distinct sensations either in rapid succession or simultaneously, it’s difficult to say for sure. First—an acute awareness of perceiving a drawing and its construction. I recognize the formal techniques used to create an illusionistic space, as well as gestures that disrupt the coherence of that illusion. To put it less pretentiously, I could see that the artist had drawn that I could recognize, erased parts of the drawing, and scribbled notes on the paper’s surface at random. Second—something akin to deja vu, a sense that I had seen this place before, knew its sun-warmed smell, had once asked myself if I should push aside wide leaves and explore more deeply. But the drawing, for all its illusory facility, could not quite transport me to edge of this wildly overgrown landscape exactly, but rather to a memory of it, or a place like it. There, inside of an erased void, I can stand and see this landscape as Rachel Wolfson Smith did, and bear perpetual witness to its potential as a drawing.
If, for Rachel Wolfson Smith, human movement and presence in the landscape manifests itself through the restless effort to pin down a sense of the place, Edison Peñafiel is more interested in the literal movement of bodies through space. His complex installation of video projections and collaged sound references recurrent patterns of human migrations. Looped in an endless procession, absurd, yet highly sympathetic characters trudge across an animated landscape. The terrain slowly shifts between grassland, ocean, desert, and mountain range, only for the travelers to appear back where they started again, looping back on an eternal journey to nowhere. Though Peñafiel’s masked characters continually traverse the landscapes they encounter, they leave no visible index of their passage, and as such, they seem doomed to repeat themselves again and again. At the same time, the identity of the characters remains temporally and culturally ambiguous—some seem without gender or without age. Papier-mâché masks primarily from artisans in Peñafiel’s native Ecuador, and unspecific costuming transform them into archetypal representatives of any diasporic population. The first wave of immigrants charts the path for the next, whose journey in reality might take a different shape, but the obstacles are largely the same. Though the characters rarely interact with each other, they seem to inherent some kind of spatial knowledge from their predecessors. There are no tentative steps—no one hesitates as solid ground transforms into water. Undoubtedly their bodies reveal their exhaustion, but each one—stooped old women and pigtailed children alike—drives onward relentlessly.
Peñafiel’s installation occupies a room in 100W once used for secret rites and performances by the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, including reenactments of Old Testament stories and the Royal Purple Degree—a highly theatrical ritual designed to gently shepherd blindfolded initiates through an elaborate mock pilgrimage to a High Priest, metaphorically representing their triumphant passage through the “journey of life.” Great pains are taken by the Order, to assure that their candidates appear triumphant and remain safe during the entire ritual, despite loaded warnings of dire troubles ahead. The pilgrims in in the Royal Purple Degree, however, always complete their journey, victorious over vice and conveniently protected from the perils natural world. Peñafiel’s travelers have no oak tree of hospitality or “bright rainbow of promise” to remind them of their “covenant-keeping Father.” Though there are no provisions against rough roads or annoyingly suspended rushes on their journey, Peñafiel’s travelers appear to walk on water.
 John Berger, "The Basis of All Painting and Sculpture Is Drawing," in Landscapes: John Berger on Art (London: Verso, 2016), 39-40.  Ibid., 39.  Ibid..  Independent Order of Odd Fellows., Revised Odd-fellowship Illustrated. The Complete Revised Ritual of the Lodge, Encampment and Rebekah Degrees, with the Secret "work" Added; Profusely Illustrated, by a past Grand Patriarch. With an Historical Sketch of the Order, and an Introduction and Critical Analysis of the Character of Each Degree by President J. Blanchard of Wheaton College., 47th ed. (Chicago, IL: E.A. Cook, 1930), 248. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x001476795  Odd Fellows, 254-6. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x001476795  Odd Fellows, 259. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x001476795
TOXIC: A KENDRA GREENE
MAY 18 - JUNE 22, THE READING ROOM, 3715 PARRY AVE. DALLAS, TX
AFTER HOURS II: TREY BURNS
MARCH 28, 6:00 - 8:00 PM | MITA’S COFFEE HOUSE: 216 N BEATON ST CORSICANA
Resident Trey Burns will discuss his work, digitally projected, and Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, a project by Tamara Johnson and himself in a remaining parcel of landscape in West Dallas. Paired with Mita's beverages and dinner menu. This event is made possible in generous part by the Corsicana Art League's support of four select 100W residents in 2019.
TB - "I think the tidiest way to describe this residency for me at 100 W is as research. A meandering inquiry into the landscape and history of Corsicana and the surrounding area. I'm using video, photo, and writing as tools in order to make what McCarthy called in Satin Island the "Great Report" - or maybe even more apropos; I'm making a fruitcake. I've found particular interest in a 1948 campaign visit by Lyndon Johnson to Corsicana via helicopter. An innovation in politics at the time, LBJ created airborne spectacle all across Texas to win a highly contested Senate election. In my mind this is an interesting historical event, as Johnson (and his "credibility gap") is the progenitor to our current political realities.. but also I can't help but feel as though I'm also circling above this town, touching down for a while to say hello, shake some hands, scatter the dust and then depart shortly there after."
AFTER HOURS I: EVEREST PIPKIN & ALEX LUKAS
FEBRUARY 28, 6:00 - 8:00 PM | MITA’S COFFEE HOUSE: 216 N BEATON ST CORSICANA
Collaborative Residents Everest Pipkin and Alex Lukas discuss and digitally present a selection of artworks in sculpture, technology, drawing, painting and printmaking. Their residency work Five Objects for Corsicana Sky will be exhibited. These five small sculptures document the Corsicana sky, tracking airplanes that are overhead in real time. These augmented local objects form an alternative technological interface, translating encoded airplane radio transmissions into sound and text. They reflect the sky back at itself.
SHARING OUR STORIES, MOVING FORWARD | WRITING WORKSHOP
FEBRUARY 24, 3:00 - 5:00 PM | GROUND FLOOR OF 100 W 3RD AVE CORSICANA
Join current 100W writer and resident Pam Neal in an interactive writing workshop focusing on the subject of migration, in response to 2019’s Black History month’s theme, “Black Migrations.” Pam will guide participants in writing exercises, often beginning with a single word, in order to build what she calls memoirs.
Pam Neal joins 100W with the support of the G.W. Jackson Multicultural Society. She is a Writer, Clinical Social Worker, and Academy of Cognitive Therapy Fellow. During the workshop, Pam will share from her current project, Beat Me Dumb, a story of healing and perseverance based on Vernon Kemp, one of the first black students to graduate with honors from McGregor High School.
No writing experience necessary. All are welcome. Please bring a pen and hard surface to write on. Questions and RSVP TO INFO@100WESTCORSICANA.COM
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD: Opening Saturday December 1, 3 - 6pm / 411 N Beaton St
An exhibition by Brian Molanphy, curated by Sofia Bastidas, across the street from 100W.
The Quick & the Dead is inspired by Kazim Ali & Yoshikawa Masamichi among many others. Instead of solemn solid elegiac containers preserving content, it bursts at the seams in irrational exuberance. Empty, it wears its content on its sleeve – the texture & drawing of the surface. The ubiquity of the blue & white tradition is the launching pad, passing particularly through the rose terra cotta & pale blue majolica of Marseille.
OPEN STUDIOS: Saturday December 1, 3 - 6 pm / 100 W 3rd Ave
Resident works by Bruce Lee Webb, Daniela Cruz, Kathleen Shafer, and Allison Bulger
Installations by Bruce Lee Webb, featuring historic Independent Order of the Odd Fellows objects placed throughout this 1890s Lodge demonstrating its use as fraternal space. Webb has also produced an interpretation of the famous and controversial, Corsicana-based fortune teller Annie Buchanan, who mounted the success of several prominent oil men in the region in the early-to-mid 20th century.
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS FAR AWAY
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 7:00 PM, 3RD FLOOR BALLROOM STUDIO
Former resident Pete Ohs wrote, directed and produced this recent, full-length feature about a guy, a girl, and a robot head hiking across a desert planet looking for a mythical lake.
Everything Beautiful is Far Away stars Julia Garner and Joseph Cross, and has received several awards including: Winner of Best Cinematography at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival, Winner of Best Director & Best Cinematography at the 2017 Tacoma Film Festival, and Winner of Best Feature at the 2017 Eastern Oregon Film Festival.
TRACY HICKS RETROSPECTIVE, October 2015
SOUTHERN INTENTIONS DINNER, Summer 2015
Southern Intentions Dinner: Three artists collaborate their mediums of ceramics, food and printmaking in a single evening event. Chef Lindsey Byrd served homemade fried chicken and sides on porcelain dishes made exclusively for the event by Brent Pafford. The paper lining guests' porcelain baskets was spotted and streaked by the grease, and saved by Adrienne Lichliter to process into her method for making wood lithograph prints. Each guest received the print resulting from their basket following the dinner, as well as their three-piece Pafford porcelain dinnerware set. For interest, please follow the Southern Intentions Dinner website for future events. To be notified about 100W Dinners hosted seasonly, please express interest on the Contact page.
Noel Camardo's residency month of walking and observing Corsicana has produced a notable series titled Dusty Roses. Noel is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY focusing on the humor and pathos of life. View the complete work at www.noelcamardo.com
Dome Project Underway: These tranquil structures are being designed and built by Randell Morgan and Phillip Mcvean in the 100W Woodshop to outfit meditation centers, markets, and landscapes small and large with beautiful shelters.