January 30 – April 17, 2009
Dominic Paul Moore, “Put This in Your Mouth”
Laurel Roth, “Hope Chest”
Free, public reception for the artists: Friday, January 30, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
These exhibitions present second opinions on the hospital as an institution and the women’s healthcare industry, asking whose views are actually skewed - the artists’ or society’s?
|Dominic Paul Moore, Reliable Models|
“Put This in Your Mouth” features Chicago artist Dominic Paul Moore’s graphite depictions of images culled from medical advertisements, modified according to his memories of the sterile hospital environment as an asthmatic child and the son of a respiratory therapist. Moore’s stark and simplistic compositions often replace the ads’ humane medical assistants with cold yet anthropomorphous machines, exploiting the cinematic qualities of these source materials to subvert their original intent. Moore says, “These drawings juxtapose the vacillating fragility of life with the rigidity of medical technology.”
Moore’s sinister scenes lead the viewer to question medical care and wonder whether the supposedly safe and reliable hospital establishment is as innocent as it may seem; in his words, “Who is doing what to whom and why are they doing it? Giving life or taking it?” Ultimately his illustrations bring to mind the ongoing Social Security debate, as well as issues of security and trust with regard to social institutions. Moore has exhibited throughout the Midwest, and his work is currently featured in the flat files of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Further details about Moore and his work are available at www.dominicpaulmoore.com.
|Laurel Roth, Norethindrone|
“Hope Chest” comprises panty liners hand-embroidered and beaded by Laurel Roth, including a series concerning birth control, a PMS quilt, and a “racing pad” for fast women. Roth relearned embroidery and crochet techniques from her childhood to fill her modern version of a hope chest with off-kilter reflections on biology, fertility, and the ever-changing societal roles of women. Also included in the show is a new large-scale tapestry designed by Roth in collaboration with her partner Andy Diaz Hope and woven on a computer-controlled jacquard loom in Belgium. The Allegory of the Monocerus chronicles “medicine and discovery through the ages, beginning with early medicinal botanicals and ending in the gene age,” focusing on “the turning point of evolutionary forces from Darwinian natural selection to human-centric evolution.” In addition, the exhibition includes some of Roth’s designer pet skulls, extremely realistic renderings of the crania of domestic animals that the artist hand-carved from solid industrial acrylic block and polished to resemble crystal.
Roth characterizes her oeuvre as a whole by saying, “My work juxtaposes traditional craft and artisanal techniques with non-traditional materials to examine mankind’s drive to modify itself as well as its environment. By examining the convergence of biology and product design to create new cultural artifacts I explore dynamic social constructions of need, design, and individual desire.” Roth’s work has recently been shown in India, London, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, where she currently resides. For more information about Roth and her work, as well as that of her partner and frequent collaborator Andy Diaz Hope, visit http://loloro.com.
Both Roth and Dominic Paul Moore are represented by Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago; see www.packergallery.com for gallery information.
These exhibitions are the latest in the Museum’s “Anatomy in the Gallery” series, which has showcased medically themed contemporary art in quarterly paired exhibitions since 1998. The Museum exhibits this artwork along with thousands of historical artifacts from its permanent collection, including surgical instruments as well as a number of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, in accordance with its mission: to enrich the lives of its visitors by enhancing their appreciation and understanding of medicine. To learn more about “Anatomy in the Gallery,” please visit the program’s MySpace page.
This project is partially sponsored by a CityArts Program 2 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.