March 4 - May 8, 2022
From the artist:
“Future Power: Traps and Targets, an exhibition of current and new work from Christopher Blay opens March 4 at the Hotel St. George, Marfa, Texas. Following the solo Exhibition “Power, Traps, and Targets: New Work from Christopher Blay” at Big Medium in Austin, Texas, last July, Blay’s work moved to the Amarillo Biennial in October of 2021 and then to the SP/N Gallery at the University of Texas at Dallas as part of the exhibition Printmaking Concepts in February. Future Power is the newest iteration of Blay’s solo exhibition featuring five new works in the continuing “Power Lines” series of sculpture/drawings. This body of work, described as Police brut, is inspired by printed shooting targets, and the ready-made Black Power fist Afro Pick. Police brut is a double entendre that references both the style pioneered by Jean Dubuffet and the acts of violence meted out against Black people. The language of Future Power: Traps and Targets incorporates codes and symbols as a way of talking about police violence against Black People. Binary code, morse code, and sound graphs encode the works even as the symbols, such as the Nitien, or Kru Money, place the artist’s own narrative in these stories. “Nitien,” “Tien,” or “Dwin” is from the Kru and Grebo tribes of Liberia and respectively the tribes the artist’s father and mother were born into. Although there is no definitive scholarship on the use of Nitien, one of the common accounts describes it as a symbol of protection, which is how it is used in these works. The exhibition includes the sound installation Feel Me?, which employs a haptic vest and the sound of gunshots. Visitors stand in a predetermined spot in the gallery as they look at a black circle that contains the phrase Feel Me. The Cyanotype Power Light series-8-9-14, like other works in the series from previous exhibitions, uses sunlight from the anniversary day of police killings. 8/9/14 is the date of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
The new works that continue the Power Line series are gestural drawing-like sculptures that pulse with intuitive fits and movements, creating a language of their own, while the three “Untitled Nitien” paintings in the exhibition conjure up looming figures that are both protectors, observers, and witness bearing the stigmata of decades of violence against black bodies.
About the Artist: “My work looks at utopian visions of the future since the dawn of the atomic age, and the great socioeconomic disparities that parallelI those visions in the present. Over the past decade I’ve built installations around time machines, satellites, and survival bubbles–all connected to science fiction of the atomic age. I am interested in what the future looked like then, and the machines I create are embedded with failure –a cardboard reflection of the failed future that we’ve inherited. In those parallels are also the realities of the present. The romantic ideal of a future with flying cars, moving sidewalks and regular trips to Mars have not been realized. Neither has the basic ideals of Justice and equality for Black people. My work therefore considers and reflects those moments when the fissures in society’s facade crack open wide enough to reveal just how far from those ideals we truly are.” – Christopher Blay
About Hotel St. George: Steeped in the history and culture of Marfa, the hotel stands on the site of the original Hotel Saint George, built in 1886. Step into the lobby and you’ll see locally-sourced elements and repurposed materials from the building’s 1929 incarnation, including original concrete floors, salvaged brick walls, reclaimed marble surfaces and steel doors and counters, all melded with world- class contemporary works by artists living in or tied to the community.”
105 South Highland Avenue
Marfa, 79843 TexasGet directions