a body measured against the earth

About

“Walking . . . is how the body measures itself against the earth.”*

The artists in this exhibition stage encounters between the earth and the body—the primary tool at their disposal—to understand the land and their relationship to it. Ranging from physical interventions in the ground to conceptual documentations of travel and labor, their divergent practices reject a totalizing or objective view of the landscape, instead favoring embodied investigations of specific places, histories, and ideals. In the process, the artists recognize land “not as scenery, but as the spaces and systems we inhabit, a system our own lives depend upon.” (Rebecca Solnit, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, 47.)

Titled after a quote from ecofeminist author and critic Rebecca Solnit, a body measured against the earth is drawn largely from the MCA’s collection. It takes inspiration from the ephemeral “earth-body” works staged by Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta in the 1970s and weaves legacies of land art and “walking art” with more recent work in conceptual photography and the moving image.

The exhibition is organized by Jared Quinton, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. It is presented in the Cohen and Stone Family Galleries on the museum’s fourth floor.

Funding

*Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (New York: Penguin, 2001), 31.

List

Installation Images

Installation view, a body measured against the earth, MCA Chicago August 21, 2018 – April 7, 2019

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, a body measured against the earth, MCA Chicago August 21, 2018 – April 7, 2019

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, a body measured against the earth, MCA Chicago August 21, 2018 – April 7, 2019

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, a body measured against the earth, MCA Chicago August 21, 2018 – April 7, 2019

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, a body measured against the earth, MCA Chicago August 21, 2018 – April 7, 2019

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago