Movements, Moments Target Gallery | January 23–March 7

Juror's Statement

It’s impossible to think about Movements, Moments outside of the extraordinary timeline that it has spanned. The exhibition call closed just a few days before the presidential election, with the backdrop of a lethal global pandemic and months of social upheaval for racial justice. My first pass at the submissions took place just before November 3, and I finalized my decisions shortly after Biden’s win had been declared.

I was compelled initially by just how expansive a framework of Movements, Moments could be, and the complexity provided simply by the two words being plural. So many types of action came embedded in these terms, and the terms themselves seemed to shift. Movement to Movements: from quotidian gestures through bodily expressive practices to sweeping cultural and societal change. Moment to Moments: from a type of measurement through a necessary pause to the total accumulation of all time.

Knowing that the open call encouraged video work, I went into the submissions imagining a darkened exhibition space. Looking back, it seems apt to call those days just before the election a “darkened space” as well. I was particularly attentive to light and shadow, and drawn to uncertainty and repetition.

Within the repetition, I recognized rituals and resilience. Resilience, sometimes, in spite of absurdity. And repetition that wasn’t just the same, same, same, but full of renewal and a fortification.

The sense of uncertainty, even unease, related to relationships between the body, the self, and greater forces, elemental or societal. The tension of these relationships brought great rushing shifts of scale, from the very small to the infinite, from a moment to a movement.

Shortly then after making my selections, my family and I contracted COVID. We were very lucky to make it through, but I don’t exaggerate to say that it was a few weeks of terror. In retrospect, it felt as if a powerful, unseen force, similar to the forces that animate much of the work in the exhibition, tore through our little selves, our fragile bodies.

Now I’ve returned to the artworks in Movements, Moments, following illness and in a newly darkened space, a week after the violent insurrection at the Capitol, the District has become a militarized zone ahead of the inauguration. I’m in the D.C. area and the constant sound of helicopters carries far in the winter air. Looking at images of the artwork again, in a folder on my computer desktop, I imagine I’m in the gallery actually, bodily. The resilience in the works eclipses the uncertainty. The rituals and repetition are bolstered by confidence and a rich precision of intent. The stories behind these artworks span time greatly from the primordial to the now and the soon. In this shifting space of light and shadow, there is pathos, there is rage, there is bliss, and powerful, unwieldy forces are harnessed, tethered to the moment.

--Eames Armstrong

Eames Armstrong is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and arts organizer based in Washington D.C.

Exhibition Virtual Tour

Jillian Abir MacMaster (Frederick, MD), Beatifica 2, 2020. Scanography, archival inkjet print. $325.

Beatifica 2 is a self-portrait exploring the predatory behavior of Catholicism, specifically addressing one's own existence in a spiritual realm. This photographic work, created with a document scanner and thus referred to as scanography, required me to move in the frame of the scanned area. Movement is necessary in the creation of my work in order to produce distortion of the subject and to smear the figure.”

-- Jillian Abir MacMaster

Lauren Woods (Opelika, AL), Circle Dances, 2020. 3:06 minutes video. NFS.

“Circle dances have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Performed as rites of passage, an invocation of change, or a mode of community ritual, the circle embodies aspects of connection, unity, and cycles of transformation. I have been using dance as a grounding method during this time of social distancing and isolation in my home for weeks completely alone. Whether I am dancing around the house or my overgrown yard, it has been a way to feel connected to my past rituals, providing comfort during times of extreme anxiety. Movement becomes a method to process uncertainty and fear.”

-- Lauren Woods

Sweta Shah (Vienna, VA), It’s Me, 2020. Acrylic. $2,220.

It’s Me showcases a reflection of oneself. As time passes, while our external features age...our internal characteristics, especially the child in us, always remains central to our existence. Painted in acrylic, drawing with pencil, conte, and charcoal. Simple applications and color story used to enhance the message.”

-- Sweta Shah

Janet Wittenberg (Bethesda, MD), Eruption, 2019. Glass sculpture. $695.

“Multiple layers of glass, heated and manipulated. "Eruption" refers to the earth’s continuous transformation via natural or human made events. It also represents how we as humans are transformed due to extreme events in our own lives and the world.”

-- Janet Wittenberg

Sara Dittrich (Baltimore, MD), Breath of the Moon, 2019. Atlantic tide clock. $250.

“But the most admirable thing of all is the union of the ocean with the orbit of the moon. At every rising and every setting of the moon the sea violently covers the coast far and wide, sending forth its surge, which the Greeks call reuma; and once this same surge has been drawn back it lays the beaches bare, and simultaneously mixes the pure outpourings of the rivers with an abundance of brine, and swells them with its waves. As the moon passes by without delay, the sea recedes and leaves the outpourings in their original state of purity and their original quantity. It is as though it is unwittingly drawn up by some breathings of the moon, and then returns to its normal level when this same influence ceases.”

-- Opera de Temporibus, Section XXIX, the Venerable Bede, 703 AD

“A tide clock ticks in real-time, synced with the tide charts of where the clock is installed. This object serves as a poignant reminder of the natural rhythms that surround us but are not always perceptible in the midst of our busy lives. Just as our bodies breathe and move every day, so does the earth.”

-- Sara Dittrich

Laurie Berenhaus (Jersey City, NJ), Fertility Pendulum, 2019. Wood, paper, wire, magnetic pendulum, arduino. POR.

Fertility Pendulum is the first sculpture of Laurie Berenhaus’ Wandering Series to incorporate kinetic elements. Berenhaus explores how the female form responds to aging, reproduction, and trauma. The creature depicted is one of her many Wandering Women whose arobatic gestures and distorted proportions are manifestations of a body in flux. Wandering Women take ownership of the ever-changing female form and embrace all the enchanting absurdity it encompasses.”

-- Laurie Berenhaus

Alexander D’Agostino, (Baltimore, MD), Mayfair Witch, 2020. 4:08 minutes video. NFS.

“Using dance and witchcraft to remedy a rat infestation in a house during the pandemic. Persistence and pointe work become the ingredients to this video spell.”

-- Alexander D’Agostino

Josephine Lee, (Vancouver, BC), Kirogi (the wild geese, high in the clean, blue air, are head heading home), 2020. 12:51 minutes video. NFS.

“Referencing wild geese (kirogi) used to describe contemporary Korean transnational families, the body through a portal experiences dislocation, cultural yearning, and precarity.”

-- Josephine Lee

Bingyi Liu (Baltimore, MD), Indigestion, 2018. 8:27 minutes 2 channel 4K video. POR.

“I have been investigating ambiguity under the influence of taste expression. Exploring the relationship between taste memory and taste identity is the research direction of this work. This project is a two-channel video based on urban space, historical investigation, archival research, field research and live performance. I try to construct a new context to explore the mobility of identity through the reintegration of Baltimore Canton historical information and the capture of this particular space of the Chinese supermarket in Baltimore. What does urbanization and globalization taste like? Will tampered taste memory cause new identity problems? Regardless, new taste memories are fermenting.”

-- Bingyi Liu

LaRissa Rogers (Ruckersville, VA), We’ve Always Been Here, Like Hydrogen, Like Oxygen, 2020. 7:33 minutes two channel video. NFS.

“Originally inspired by the Latasha Harlins murder that began the 1992 LA riots, oranges have become a recurring symbol throughout my work. I often use them to reference the similarities between how oranges and Black women's bodies become commodified, pasteurized, and resold for general consumption through media and structural racism. In this work, I wash my body in self-care as a labor of resistance, love, and healing. I do this on the Richmond Slave Trail and the African Burial Ground in Richmond, VA, and place my body in these locations to comment on notions of safety within public and private spheres. The text alternates on both screens, one side speaking to the physical and psychological repercussions of white supremacy and the other reflecting upon the need for love, safety, and restoration to expand the spaces and possibilities for black people to exist without being under a constant state of threat."

-- LaRissa Rogers

Sarah Trad (Philadelphia, PA), Clench my Fists, 2020. 5:45 minutes video. NFS.

Clench My Fists is a found-footage collage video that explores the process of growing up in an Arab family deeply affected by death and grief. Using footage from the Lebanese film In the Battlefields, as well as Candy and The 100, and audio from archival recorded Lebanese funeral laments, the video looks at how men and women express grief and anger under the patriarchy, as well as how trauma and childhood experiences can evolve into mental illness and patterns of behavior as adults. Clench My Fists also explores the concept of 'inherited grief;' that through biological or behavioral means, trauma is passed down through prospective family generations so that family members might experience the residual effects of trauma they did not personally witness. The work is meant to decentralize Western Imperialist understandings of the 'Middle East' as well as to celebrate the artist’s heritage, outside the context of her family."

-- Sarah Trad

Allison Roberts (St. Louis, MO), Naming, Not Knowing, 2019. 4:01 minutes video. NFS.

Naming, Not Knowing is a performative piece that speaks to the transiency and fluidity of place, and the effort of trying to shape the elusive through repeated attempts of control. The ephemeral forms and fleeting moments are created by manipulation of a translucent material, projection, and composites of video and still imagery.”

-- Allison Roberts

Chris Combs (Washington, DC), Side Guide Control, 2020. Industrial steel enclosure, video, computer, LCD display. $2,295.

Side Guide Control is a tight cage around motion. The 500 drilled holes in this industrial steel enclosure peek at slowly moving “cinemographs” of environmental change: glacial meltwaters, geothermal venting, eroding human structures. Each hole shows a tiny portion of the screen inside the device, which is displaying footage captured by the artist. The holes’ placement mimics the human eye, with centralized focus. As it changes from scene to scene, some more active than others, the overall effect is to inspire “double takes” as a static-seeming scene suddenly erupts with motion.”

-- Chris Combs

Amy Sinbondit (Chevy Chase, MD), Unicode+25AF, 2019. Porcelain, glaze, resin epoxy. $6,000.

“This sculpture was built with thin strips of clay in a tall, upright position. I was counting on the clay moving in the heat of kiln firing and was prepared that I may not know what I would see when I opened the kiln. The structure swayed, split, and no longer stood upright. The resulting form captured the evidence of graceful movement of the material under the conditions of heat and gravity.”

-- Amy Sinbondit

Laura Mongiovi (St. Augustine, FL), Find Your Purpose, 2019. Silk dyed with marigolds, fan, magnets. $800.

“This piece inspired by the history of horse racing in the United States. The title is from Frank X. Walker's poem Murphy's Secret. Originally, silk was worn by jockeys for its lightweight properties. The flowing silk speaks to the fluid movement of jockey and horse. The yellow color honors Isaac Murphy, an African American jockey important to the history of horse racing who won the yellow silk purse.”

-- Laura Mongiovi

Gala Cude-Pacheco (Washington D.C.), Thumb Knots in Ornamental Grass, 2020. Chromogenic prints. $900.

Thumb Knots in Ornamental Grass records the reconfiguration of potted grass through simple, manual intervention. The top image and middle image depict the process of tying a single knot in each individual blade, while the bottom image features the resulting form. The placement of knots into grass takes kinetic and visual cues from self-soothing rituals and externalized anxiety.”

-- Gala Cude-Pacheco

Matthew Borgen (Philadelphia, PA), Horizons, 2018. Inkjet print on archival paper. $1,000.

“Part of the Choruses series, Horizons serves to deconstruct the sequential art format by presenting a series of repeated images that could be viewed as either show continual progress or a stationary struggle. Whether there is movement or not is left entirely to the viewer.”

-- Matthew Borgen

Lynn Silverman (Baltimore, MD), Relative Time, State Center, Iowa, 2018. Digital print. POR.

Relative Time is a survey of cemeteries across the US. The meaning of time in these photographs is multifaceted, especially with the inclusion of a moving vehicle strategically photographed in relation to a headstone and surrounding landscape. The choice of vehicle is important in the way its speed and color interact with other details contained in the image.”

-- Lynn Silverman

Jassie Rios (Washington, D.C.), Between Stillness and Motion, 2021. GramFX, 78 rpm records.

1. Ihashi (Zulu Chant) - Josef Marias and Miranda

2. Love Grows on the White Oak Tree - The Three Peppers

GramFX is an augmented gramophone that utilizes an open air gesture control scheme for control over processing of acoustic and electronic sound.

It combines old and new recording/playback technologies to create analog glitch noise that is processed with an effects chain using DRFX in Pure Data.

Additional synthesis is generated based on real-time audio analysis of the acoustic gramophone output.

The wind-up turntable references woman’s labor and gramFX draws connections between elements, organisms and machines to activate the space between drawing and music.

About Target Gallery

Target Gallery is the contemporary exhibition space of Torpedo Factory Art Center, managed by the City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.