October 7 - November 30, 2023
From Women & Their Work:
“Multidisciplinary, metaphysical artist Virginia L. Montgomery (VLM) presents a new solo exhibition: Eye Moon Cocoon, a surrealist thought-experiment about the philosophical praxis of atomic healing. Eye Moon Cocoon features new video art, sound art, performance photographs, and sculptural objects situated in a dream-logica dialogue interweaving psychoanalytic, mythological, and scientific textures. Eye Moon Cocoon encompasses VLM’s recent studio collaborations with native Texas Luna moths and her on-going research into the multifaceted associations of the moon.
From visiting NASA Space Center Houston to introduce live luna moth cocoons to NASA’s beloved moon rocks, to working on a miniature film-set with a moth-scale bed built for non-human healing, VLM and her moth-familiars co-create a curious dreamworld of symbols, sounds, and gestures to conjure an environment for hope. With an eye towards the uncanny omnipresence of circular symbolics, VLM asks, “Does consciousness shape the moon, the egg, the eye? And how can consciousness re-shape us through healing?” Eye Moon Cocoon invites viewers into VLM’s synthesia-esque realm of symbols (like circles, holes, spheres) sounds (like Texas thunderstorms, temple bells, power drills) and gestures of gentleness—to create space for cosmic intimacies to unfurl like moth wings.
The works in Eye Moon Cocoon are devices of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things. They embody a constellation of textures—natural and manufactured—that exist in a floating, blue dreamscape together. Displayed rocks, both naturally eroded by the elements and stone-carved VLM’s own hands, sink into plush, blue pads of NASA-developed memory foam. Austin-area sticks adorned with little bells subtly tinkle through out the space. And, inside her video installation exists VLM’s own Shaker four-post bed unmoored from its domestic space. Here, her bed operates as a physical double to the moth-scale bed seen in the video Moon Moth Bed. In the video VLM hatches her home-raised luna moth in her hand (the same moth taken to NASA and introduced to its moon rocks) and sets the young moth upon a sonic obstacle course of sticks-and-bells. The little luna ascends to a moth-scale bed containing a 3-D printed NASA model of the moon. Over the sleeping moon, the luna moth unfurls her wings. Her mothly movements trigger the bells that summon VLM’s hand to enter the filmic dream world to touch its dreamspace, and subsequently release a torrent of practical-effects. Power-drill, image-spillting choreographies and waves of flowing honey force material reality into the video’s rhythmic dreamspace, symbolically occurring first by destruction then by healing.
VLM’s experimental movements in Eye Moon Cocoon swirl together inspiration from ‘The Butterfly Effect’—the philosophical theorem that any small change in our environment, even the gentle flapping of an insect’s wings, may manifest big climatic change. And, the mathematical efficiency behind the ‘The Coriolis Effect’—the process whereby particles of mass spiral to optimize. By tapping into the physics frameworks of both theories and inserting ecofeminist thought from Dr. Donna Haraway’s When Species Meet, VLM argues that our reality (inclusive of contemporary art and fourth wave feminism) must be grounded in a philosophy of panpsychicism that attributes consciousness all the way down to luna moths, rocks, and so on in order to neutralize hierarchies that justify oppression. In our current era of climatic disaster and emotional burn-out, Eye Moon Cocoon invites viewers to walk-through the optimistic uncanny of VLM’s brain to consider that there is a collaborative, circulating consciousness shared between all human and non-human entities—moths, moons, and us included. The threefold intention of Virginia L. Montgomery’s Eye Moon Cocoon exhibition is to facilitate productive human cognition, role model experiential art practice, and conjure a climate of hope.
About the Artist
Virginia L. Montgomery (VLM) is a metaphysical, multimedia artist working across video, performance, sound design, and sculpture. Her synthesia-esque, surrealist artworks unite elements from mysticism, science, and her own lived experience as a neurodivergent individual. Her artwork explores the philosophical praxis of atomic consciousness via recursive symbols like circles, holes, spheres, and the faux eye-spots seen on moth wings. Her artistic efforts are characterized by material experimentation, somatic sensitivity, and her unusual studio practice of hand-raising the moths and butterflies seen in her videos. VLM’s diverse artistic movements interrogate the complex relationship between physical and psychic structures via uncanny gestures of agency, intimacy, empathy, and healing. VLM also holds a parallel career as a visual ideation scribe, a Graphic Facilitator, a unique profession for which she travels the world to diagram the development of ideas at generative group meetings like TED talks, DEI events, and innovation conferences. In her work as a fine artist, VLM turns this professional skill-set, which she describes as “mind map scribing,” inwards, to render the contours of her own subconscious and reveal insights from her healing world of dreams. Collectively, VLM’s symbols, forms, subjects, and gestures rupture material surfaces, opening up portals into the hope of atomic healing. VLM has had solo presentations with The Tate Modern (United Kingdom), New Museum (NY), Times Square Arts (NY), Museum Folkwang (Germany), Wright Lab at Yale University (CT), The Lawndale Art Center (TX), False Flag (NY), and Hesse Flatow (NY). She has also exhibited in group exhibitions at institutions including SculptureCenter (NY), La Panacée-MoCo (France), The Hessel Museum at Bard College (NY), The Banff Centre (Canada), Socrates Sculpture Park (NY), The Blanton Museum (TX), The Contemporary Austin (TX), CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Denmark), among others.
About Women & Their Work
Women & Their Work fosters the artistic growth of women artists by encouraging them to make new, adventurous work and develops audiences for whom contemporary art is meaningful. Our mission is to ensure that diverse women artists are equitably represented in all forms of art. For 45 years, Women & Their Work has been a cornerstone of the Austin arts community and has actively developed the careers of more than 2,000 women artists, presenting hundreds of visual art exhibitions, music, dance and theater events, film festivals and education programs. Nationally recognized for the quality of its work, Women & Their Work has played an important role in the development of the visual and performing arts in Texas.”
Reception: October 7, 2023 | 7–9 pm
1311 East Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, 78702 TexasGet directions