May 2 – July 18, 2008
Timea Tihanyi, “Two Spaces, One Body”
Christa Donner, “ExtraSensory”
Free, public reception for the artists: Friday, May 2, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
|Timea Tihanyi, I'm a Uniter, Not a Divider (detail)|
“Two Spaces, One Body” comprises three new fiber sculptures created specifically for the Museum, all of which are based on traditional, two-dimensional visual representations of the body in space, from a microscopic image of nerve tissue, to an anatomical illustration, to a geographic map. With these pieces Tihanyi attempted to recreate the original experience of being in a body by rendering these abstractions tangible and three-dimensional in felt, thread, and pins. Says the artist, “I appropriate these images in order to dissect and remake them as objects, exploring the dichotomy of the world compressed into a two-dimensional virtual plane and the physical, tactile world. My goal is to reconsider the meaning of these representations, as well as the way they embody information about the reality of physical existence.” The resultant works evoke the subjective, visceral aspects of such experience that usually get lost in translation.
Tihanyi received her MD in Budapest before pursuing a career as a sculptor in the United States. She says, “My former medical training gave me analytical tools that serve my continuing interest in considering the human body both as an object of taboo and spectacle and, most importantly, as the house and hardware of our existence.” She earned her MFA from the University of Washington, where she now teaches. For further details about Tihanyi and her work, please visit www.timeatihanyi.com.
|Christa Donner, Inner Eye (detail)|
“ExtraSensory” consists of photographs, collages, and ink drawings in which Donner re-envisions anatomy to more accurately reflect the feeling of embodiment. In collaboration with seven rural teenagers, Donner collected personal narratives about bodily sensation and translated these into wearable collages, depicted in the photos as modeled by their creators, set against the backdrop of their small town. “The result is a complex, surreal look at teenage body image and the way that we imagine sensations we can feel but can’t see,” she says.
Inspired by this two-month project, Donner then produced a series of independent work presenting alternative anatomical illustrations. She says, “Using paper and ink to explore the fragile but flexible nature of the body’s internal workings and the ephemeral nature of its surface makes a lot of sense to me. This inquiry allows me to transform misunderstanding and anxiety into a personal, magical, powerful re-visioning of the body and its processes.” A Chicago resident, Donner received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and recently exhibited a body of work about reproduction in Cleveland. More information about Donner and her work is available at www.christadonner.com.
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.