KATIE TORN: LOW TIDE

July 26 – August 19, 2017
First Thursday art walk August 3, 6:00 to 8:00pm

 

These wet rocks where the tide has been, 
Barnacled white and weeded brown
And slimed beneath to a beautiful green, 
These wet rocks where the tide went down
Will show again when the tide is high
Faint and perilous, far from shore, 
No place to dream, but a place to die,— 
The bottom of the sea once more. 
There was a child that wandered through
A giant’s empty house all day,— 
House full of wonderful things and new, 
But no fit place for a child to play.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay (1921)

 

Before a tsunami hits there is a period of calmness. The ocean recedes below the expected low tide, revealing a world that is usually inaccessible. Its newness is seductive and there is a moment of wonderment. The ocean floor calls to us like a predator luring in its prey.

— Katie Torn

THE WORK
Torn's second solo exhibition with Upfor includes works on paper and two video installations which use an imagined ocean at low tide as their setting. The hybrid figures depicted are, in Torn's words, “overwhelmed female bodies, desperately trying to adapt to a decaying, physical world that is consumed by image and simulations."

The works on paper are collages composed from printed 3D renderings, photographs of Torn’s sculptures, paint, and found images. In them, abstract bodies stand in yoga poses, covered or comprised of plastic waste and other detritus. The video installations feature female sea creatures, similarly overwrought by their environments: one a mermaid expelling oil-like substances from a tangle of detritus; another, inspired by selfie videos shared on social media platforms, poses for the camera, her face and body layered with Snapchat-like filters and special effects.

Low Tide is the last in a series of three solo exhibitions by gallery artists working primarily in media art, which culminates in a collaborative presentation of work by the artists (Morehshin Allahyari, Brenna Murphy and Katie Torn), on view August 23 through September 2, 2017.

THE ARTIST
Katie Torn (b. 1982, New York, New York) holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Notable presentations and screenings of her work include Wayne State University, Detroit (2017); XPO Gallery, Paris (2017); Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv (2015); MoMA PS1, New York (2014); Tate Britain, London (2014); MOCA Los Angeles (2013), and bitforms gallery, New York (2013). Torn was a 2013 Fellow at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, as well as artist-in-residence at LMCC Process Space on Governor’s Island (2016) and The Institute of Electronic Arts in Alfred, New York (2014). More about this artist.