Curated by Indianapolis-based artist and curator Michael Milano, Habeas Corpus features the work of five artists––Daniel Baird, Edmund Chia, Jessica Labatte, Kelly Lloyd and Leah Mackin––that presence the body through mediation. At a time in which a large portion of our lived experience is virtual, these artists reassert the hand––and, by extension, corporeality––through digital and analog means. The works serve to remind us of our shared embodiment, as well as our physical engagement with our material and technological worlds.
Image: Daniel Baird
When I (detail), 2016
aluminum, acrylic, apoxy, 3D printed hardware, water, dye, plastic, rubber, cave dust and paint
Courtesy the artist and Patron Gallery, Chicago
Daniel Baird (Chicago, IL) takes a very long view of humanity’s relationships to technology, from the Cenozoic Era to the Posthuman. Prioritizing the materiality of technology, works such as When I are created with aluminum, acrylic, Apoxie, 3D printed hardware, water, dye, plastic, rubber, cave dust and paint, highlighting the importance and persistence of touch through time. / danielgbaird.com
Edmund Chia’s (Singapore) abstract paintings and sculptures also demonstrate a deep commitment to materials. His series of modestly scaled work, including Diagram for New Architecture (Transition 00), consists primarily of embroidery, burlap and paint. By employing the intimate process of embroidery for mark-making, Chia reveals the presence of the hand and body at close range without relying on overt performative strategies. / edmundchia.com
For nearly a decade, Jessica Labatte (Chicago, IL) has explored the relationship between photography and abstraction, combining historical and conceptual approaches to construct images. For her Spotting series, Labatte and her studio assistants remove dust from film using Photoshop. Once the assistant has finished erasing the dust, Labatte inverts the color to reveal all the individual marks that the assistant has made. The results are visually arresting compositions which preserve the individual gestures of both Labatte and her assistants. / jessicalabatte.com
Kelly Lloyd’s (Baltimore, MD) piece “I painted the columns the color of my skin” addresses the politics of race and gender. Installed on select columns inside iMOCA with a paint roller––to remove any gestural evidence of the hand––the piece points to the polemics surrounding the black female body as an object of discourse, while simultaneously erasing the body as both a site of touch and physical pleasure. / k-lloyd.com
Much of Leah Mackin’s (Pittsburgh, PA) work involves interventions with and within mechanical reproductive technologies, such as photocopiers, inkjet and 3D printers. Mackin, a printmaker with a specific interest in bookmaking, investigates the mechanisms, materials and objects of distribution, namely prints, images, multiples and editions. Her graphite Folded drawings on synthetic Yupo paper directly reveal traces of the hand as she interacts, folds and manipulates the surface of this otherwise cold and artificial material. / leahmackin.com
Michael Milano is an artist, writer and curator living and working in Indianapolis. He received an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Humanities from Shimer College. He has shown at Elmhurst Museum of Art, Devening Projects, Roots & Culture, threewalls, Trunk Show, Peregrine Program, Adds Donna, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, and has written for Surface Design, Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture, and Bad At Sports. He is a founding member of A\M, a curatorial collective based in Indianapolis. michaelmilano.net / www.amweb.site
Diagram for New Architecture (Transition 00), 2016
Linen, burlap, acrylic, hand-dyed fabric, cotton embroidery thread
The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art is supported from grants and funding from the Efroymson Family Fund, The Indianapolis Foundation, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Halstead Architects, ESL-Spectrum, R&M Electric, Buckingham Foundation, Murphy Arts Center, and the City of Indianapolis.