Lauren McKeon at interface gallery

Artist: Lauren McKeon (with epilogue by Ross Simonini and a collaborative text)

Exhibition title: Let go or be dragged

Venue: interface gallery, Oakland, California, US

Date: April 5 – May 19, 2019

Photography: Hasain Rasheed, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Interface, Oakland

Use your entire body
All limbs
Arms, legs, fingers, toes
Spaces, pits, and crevices
Your spleen
Your momentum
Your center of gravity
Your vestibular system
Your favorite body part
The primary location of your identity
The spot of your first major injury
The place where illness most often begins
The organs you refuse to consider
The nook where you feel distrust
The hair you wish you had
The sound of your nervous system
The physical weight of your thoughts
The flesh which has been surgically excised from you
The invisible cord that links you to the other bodies
The shape of the curses inside of you
The vertebrae along your throat
The negative space around you
The light that makes you visible
The net clinging to you
The cells you’ve shed
Use all of it

(Preliminary Notes for Quartering Performance, by Lauren McKeon and Ross Simonini)

For her second solo show with the gallery, Let go or be dragged, Lauren McKeon presents a series of new sculptures exploring themes of physical resistance, weight and the body.

The title stems from a mantra the artist finds herself returning to when confronted with forces strong enough to drag us psychologically and physically through the world – be they political, interpersonal, or physical. In her life living on a boat, the physical forces are particularly acute. McKeon is in constant motion as dictated by: the weather, the moon, other humans and animals. Nothing is static. Flow precedes resistance and external forces are king. The tools around her – nets, ropes, traps, hooks – also stand as metaphor.

Ironically, while the tendency may be to resist, McKeon finds agency in softening, a letting go of the physical and mental bodies.

Let go or be dragged.

For the show’s epilogue, Ross Simonini will present a new iteration of his Quartering performances, in which participating bodies map themselves using all four limbs. Simonini has composed a list of directives in collaboration with McKeon. These will be presented as a sound piece during the performance, and an excerpt will be available as a text throughout McKeon’s exhibition, putting the physicality of the show and performance in conversation.

Lauren McKeon, let go or be dragged, exhibition view, Interface, Oakland

Lauren McKeon, let go or be dragged, exhibition view, Interface, Oakland

Lauren McKeon, The tide and the claw, 2019, canvas, crab shells, webbing

Lauren McKeon, The tide and the claw, 2019, canvas, crab shells, webbing

Lauren McKeon, let go or be dragged, exhibition view, Interface, Oakland

Lauren McKeon, GPS, 2019, vinyl, memory foam, webbing, buckles

Lauren McKeon, let go or be dragged, exhibition view, Interface, Oakland

Lauren McKeon, let go or be dragged, exhibition view, Interface, Oakland

Lauren McKeon, Extension cord, 2019, lead cast heel bone, shock cord

Lauren McKeon, Psychic pressure point, 2019, sterling silver cast finger bone

Lauren McKeon, Psychic pressure point, 2019, sterling silver cast finger bone

Lauren McKeon, Psychic pressure point, 2019, sterling silver cast finger bone

Lauren McKeon, Ankle weights (entanglement), 2019, spandex, sand, velcro, buckles

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