She Emerged Out of Complete Silence
a video installation by Sophie Leddick
With a performance featuring Kyra Lehman and sound artist Ken Urbina
July 13-29, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 6-9PM

If we remain at the heart of the image under consideration, we have the impression that, by staying in the motionlessness of its shell, the creature is preparing temporal explosions, not to say whirlwinds, of being.
––Gaston Bachelard, “Shells,” from The Poetics of Space

I started collecting shell memorabilia this last year, without knowing why. Maybe I am fascinated by their geometrical patterns. Golden mean, spirals, repetition, symmetry...the process of their formation is a phenomenon of nature, one that is beyond my imagination. Shells are found in burial grounds. There is an allegory of ground up shells on the beaches of Sicily giving birth to new shellfish – the ocean counterpart of the Phoenix rising from the ashes. They are blueprints for living beings. The vulnerable soul residing in the body is like the squishy animal living inside the shell.

The shell is a symbol of sound. I have feared the sound of my voice since childhood. Retreating into my body and being quiet is how I reacted to the intensity of the world. I still feel safe in silence. In silence I contemplate death, endings, the structure of love and how it is related to your heart. Your actual, physical heart. Like hearts, shells have chambers. Bachelard speaks about the Lithocardites dreamed up by J. B. Robinet. Lithocardites are heart shells, “rough drafts of a heart that will one day beat.”

9 years ago, my doctor discovered that I have a benign heart murmur through echocardiogram. Echo-cardio-gram. Echo of the heartbeat. In Greek mythology Echo gets punished by a jealous wife and loses her ability to speak; she can only repeat the last phrase of what she hears. Echo falls in love with Narcissus but is rejected by him, and she lives out the rest of her life in the solitude of the hilly earth contemplating her mortality. I imagine Echo laying in the dimple of a glen. She might have brought her hand to her heart and felt its beat under her skin and her rib bones, which sometimes feels paper thin. Perhaps the body should start to evolve so that the heart is protected a bit more. Perhaps I needed a dress of armor, one that allowed the heart to be placed into the body, covered, locked in place, and protected.

There is violence in emergence. The act of leaving a shell is painful and courageous. The act of utterance is imperative. So, why must we speak?

We must speak on behalf of our heart.
––Sophie Leddick

Sophie Leddick is a multi-media artist working in performance, film/video, and writing. The origins of her practice are rooted in classical ballet. Framed by the human condition, through language (writing) and movement (choreography) her work formally explores relationships between people, the inner self (the profundity of being and becoming), sound and the inadequacy of language for conditions like, loss, love, and grief, inner and exterior space (confinement, liminality), and physicalized metaphor. She earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

June 8 - 24, 2018
Famished Youth
Bobby Gonzales | Lauren Steinberg

Possible time, unending liminality, an anxious lisp, potent moments, a retired self, former angst, age appropriate, weakened knees, a hanging gasp.

There is a moment where we begin to know time in a bodily sense. It is not an immediate shift, but a slow drip that leaks in. This plodding corporeal change sets off an awareness of our mortality and the slipperiness of permanence–we begin to know youth only as it has left us. While youth may have come and gone, there is always unfinished business. Our attempts to close the loop on unrequited love, endeavors incomplete, or trials never to be passed, pull us back to “what-ifs” and questions of potential time spent elsewhere, no matter the limits of our bodily capacity.

Famished Youth is a reverb; a crooked glance that returns to the pleasures and tropes of naive dreams. Through the reorientation time, distance, and age allow, Bobby Gonzales and Lauren Steinberg grapple with their younger efforts at forming identities. Attempts at capturing a self are tilted and focused. Somatic archives saturated with affect, desire, and longing are revisited, often with the same feelings that incited their creation. Fragments of earlier projects from their practices are reconsidered and expanded, either by tangent, reversal, or re-performance. These works provide a temporal fulcrum for understanding past selves, their residual presence, and how feelings often linger past youth’s supple bodily contours.

                                                                                                                        – Jameson Paige, Curator  

Bobby Gonzales (b. Delran, NJ) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, IL, whose work explores the intersection of painting, performance, and photography. He received his BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and recently completed his MFA in photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Most recent exhibitions and performances include participation in Merce Cunningham’s “Field Dances” at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), group exhibitions at Das Institut für Alles Mögliche (Berlin, Germany), The Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design (Milwaukee, WI), The Galleries at Columbia University (New York, NY), Zurcher Studios (New York, NY) and solo exhibitions at Vox Populi artist collective, where he was an artist member from 2012-2014 (Philadelphia, PA). Bobby is currently a HATCH resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition.

Lauren Steinberg (b. New York, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago who graduated with an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She creates queer uncanny spaces by borrowing from her vocabulary of: endurance performance, clowning, stunt work, muscle memory, drag-king routines, inflation and deflation to question our set environments and expectations. She has performed at multiple locations including HEREarts Center New York, Mimosa House London and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

LITHIUM is pleased to announce a series of mini yet independent one-person shows, ONE, that will stretch throughout the month of April. One artist a week, this curatorial program aims to open up the gallery space as an experimental playground and to build an immersive environment featuring only two to three works by each artist. ONE is a linear arrangement abiding by the rule of “one show, one artist.”
Artists and their respective exhibition dates are:

Sunday Lai, Sleepless Lights, April 6-11
Born in 1985, Lai is a multimedia artist working in performance, video, installation and painting. Lai graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2009 and is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Keen to the latent city order, Lai creates work that is deeply rooted in performing with mundane objects -- a practice that both reflects and challenges the norm of daily life. Being an artist is a means by which she vents and executes her desire to control. With a dash of playfulness, she tries to show different forms of urban anxiety through a series of interventions, hoping to find pleasure in resisting order and reality.

Adam Hurwitz, Pause/Play, April 13-18
Using computer animation software, Adam Hurwitz creates looping, non-narrative videos which attempt to convey the texture and melancholy of memory — the interstices of life rather than specific remembered events. They are informed by his experience as a painter and exist in a world between painting and film. Hurwitz lives and works in New York City. He received his M.F.A. in painting from Yale University and has exhibited in solo and group shows in New York City, Boston, San Diego, Maryland, and elsewhere. Grants include the Joan Mitchell Foundation and a 2014 NYFA grant in Digital/Electronic Arts. He is a recipient of MacDowell Colony Fellowships in 2015 and 2017, and Yaddo residencies in 2016 and 2018. His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker and he was the featured artist in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of the Tupelo Quarterly. Recent exhibitions include Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe, NM, 2017; the traveling exhibition, “Real-Fake” in 2017/2018; and his 2018 solo exhibition, extraOrdinary, at STUDIO10 Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Mitch Patrick, Unending Sketch, April 20-25
Mitch Patrick's studio practice encompasses a range of digital media, 3d printing, and drawing processes. Much of these practices look at the function and representation of pixels in digital images through the use of glyphs and typography. His 3d printing practice rigorously investigates the bildpunkt, a German photographic term meaning "picture point" and explores its recent history (as a pixel) through current cosmological research programs. His looping videos and performance work exhibit digitally constructed tableaux detailing the peculiar interactions between viewers, screens, pixels, and time. Mitch holds a BFA from the University of Montevallo (2007), and a MFA from Brooklyn College (2013).