Sight School is pleased to announce a collaborative exhibition between artists Ellen Black & Sarah McMenimen, The Secret Welcome of Space & it's Prehistoric Future. While Black & McMenimen's gravitation toward familiar visual culture (television, magazines), seems to suggest specific signifiers or pop culture references, they treat these merely as starting points, seeking to discover larger, even universal, themes that might be latent in the start of these objects. As a result, the selection becomes the foundation for a vast, expansive history of cultural trade between worlds that exist within separate atmospheres. Using decades to divide modes of viewing, the exhibition displays a 20th Century timeline of virtual transmissions between earth & space. With the support of textbook, online, and conceptual research, Black & McMenimen have created free-standing sculptures using found materials and video. The work's material quality is an assemblage of theories toward the symbolic potential of the physical world, & the poetic associations they call into play are indicative of a mystical, exploratory countenance.
An example of this is a construction of lunar dwellings, based on ancient moon footage depicting life on the moon which was made by early Earth astronauts. This sculpture becomes a waypoint for
cosmological distances between Earth & the moon. Other pieces expound upon common narratives & mythologies previously unsolved on Earth. A page printed in a publication thirty years ago reveals a portal which proves a government leader's death was caused by his attempt to give a speech on other worlds which existed concurrently with Earth. A 12" diametric object is integrated, revised, & de-articulated to show that beings from Mars came to Earth with advanced machinery & geometry lessons. Decoded is a message from decades ahead that was delivered through a telecommunicatory medium, accompanied by sound & motions of light, with an emphasis on the present. While the pieces within the gallery setting each explore a specific time, the window display will represent a span of time & an accumulation of years that Earth has been visited.
Ellen Black currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. She recently received her MFA at California College of the Arts and has most recently shown at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, GA.
Sarah McMenimen is an Oakland, California-based interdisciplinary artist. She received her BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in 2009 & is attending Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture this summer. She will be working at The Chinati Foundation's museum this fall. Her work is in the Whitney Museum's Library.