Mirrors, Marks & Loops: Nadia Hironaka '97 & Matthew Suib '95

Locks Gallery

Locks Gallery is pleased to present “Mirrors, Marks & Loops,” an exhibition of new pieces by UArts alumni Nadia Hironaka BFA '97 (Film)
and Matthew Suib BFA '95 (Photography).

Each an accomplished artist in their own right, Hironaka and Suib have worked collaboratively on film, sound, photographs and video installations since 2008. Much of this new work was realized through their recent residencies at the Banff Centre in Canada and at Headlands Center for the Arts in California. Collaboration is an integral approach for the artists who have routinely worked with outside visual artists, musicians, writers, sound artists, poets and puppeteers on elements of their videos and installations.

This exhibition is a departure from their recent gallery-scale video installations and presents a constellation of discrete pieces representing the duo’s varied approaches to the moving image and its history. Working fluidly between digital and analog techniques, the artists propose a new framework for considering documentary impulses and manufactured illusions in time-based media. By reimagining historical references that range from the architectural to the literary, Hironaka and Suib stray from the predominance of cinema within filmic history.

Works included in the exhibition like “The Continuous Moment” present a fantastical reality where the radical Italian architecture firm Superstudio’s proposed “Continuous Monument” has been realized and must be maintained by a lone window washer. As a structure of power, visitors can look out the mirrored windows that cover the building, but it reflects the gaze of those looking in. Drawing attention to multiple perspectives that both provide new truths or challenge the gaze of the viewer is a thread that runs throughout their work.

In the essayistic video portraits “Post-Perceptual Exercise #1 and #2,” the viewer is given a glimpse into the artists’ studios both as they make work and read aloud passages from Umberto Eco. These short films study the portrayed subject’s mark-making and call attention to the mark-making inherent to Hironaka and Suib’s own video production. “Ascension (with Cat)” explores the gestural possibilities of an abstract expressionist all-overness within moving images. The piece utilizes primarily generic stock footage, creating a collage that is simultaneously filmic and animated. This new body of work culminates with a floating piece of pyrite (fool’s gold), presented mysteriously by itself (with spoken text by Nabil Kashyat) and also superimposed as if it were a levitating boulder within a woodland vista. The latter facet of this installation, “Exploded View,” presents a fantastical landscape that appears digital in origin, yet is projected from a 16mm projector within the gallery. Through these subtle gestures, Hironaka and Suib playfully interrogate the construction and verisimilitude of contemporary moving images.

Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have worked as artistic collaborators since 2008. Their installation “After Provisional Monument for the New Revolution,” a panoramic moving image, was on view in 2011 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Their piece “The Fall” (2010) was acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art for its permanent collection. Hironaka’s films and video installations have been exhibited internationally in PULSAR (Venezuela); Rencontres Internationals (Paris/Berlin); the Den Haag Film and Video Festival (The Netherlands); the Center for Contemporary Arts (Kitakyushu, Japan); the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Morris Gallery; the Black Maria Film Festival, the Donnell Library (NYC); the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia); the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia); the Galleries at Moore College of Art (Philadelphia); and Vox Populi, (Philadelphia). Hironaka’s second solo museum exhibtion “The Late Show” was recently presented at Arizona State University Art Museum.

Suib has exhibited installations, video/sound works and photographs internationally at venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Kunstwerke Berlin; Mercer Union (Toronto); the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.); P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (NYC); the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia); and the 2007 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. His 2006 project “Purified By Fire” has been commissioned for exhibition in Miami, Chicago, Toronto and Paris. In 2011, Suib was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Artists' Reception: June 6, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Gallery Talk/Panel Discussion: July 17, 6 p.m.

Above: Study for "The Continuous Moment."

Locks Gallery
600 Washington Square South
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

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