Acting in Numbers

The works of the exhibition unite photography and performance in a focus on iconic symbols, body language, comic books and signals used in political protests and various forms of rebellion.
12-01-2018 - 25-02-2018
Acting in Numbers
Mary Coble
Acting in Numbers is about resistance and activism with focus on iconic symbols, body language, chants and signals. The American artist Mary Coble uses both performance and photography to investigate and "queer" our understanding of places, actions, bodies and history.   

The exhibition is created specifically for Gallery Image, consisting of existing and new works. The site-specific installation supports their serial character and shows how the artist explores topics like time and iteration in relation to photography and performance as form of expressions.   

The Performing Defiance Photo Series, commissioned by the Danish arts council for the Performance Photography (2015) project, shows extracts from a durationalperformance in which the artist repeatedly raised her fist in protest and tried to hit a triangle made of latex with an abundance of glitter. The work contains humour, play, messiness, hope and potential defeat.   

Mary Coble has been using blood for the past ten years as a tool in her performances and works. Timeline of Disruption (2016) is both the photographic documentation and the physical imprint of a performance by the same title, where the artist had several lines drawn on her body as inkless tattoos. The thin line of blood from the tattoos was transferred onto a roll of paper on the floor by Coble, who embodied the positions of defiance used in demonstrations.   

Light is both the source and the main medium in PULSE (2016). The photo series is the result of a ten-day performance from the abandoned amusement park, Ontario Place Park in Toronto. Coble climbed the Cinesphere construction (the world’s first IMAX projection system) every night to transform it as a beacon of protest. A series of Morse code messages was transmitted from the construction to collaborators on the ground positioned throughout Ontario Place Park, and subsequently forwarded the messages with their torches. The Morse messages consisted of statements and chants used in protests and civil rights movements.   

We are here (2017) and One Movement (2017) are based on abandoned signs from the demonstrations and protests against Donald Trump's deployment as president in January 2017. Both series are based on Coble's careful documentation of the fences surrounding the White House.   

Mary Coble has a Master of Fine Arts from George Washington University, Washington DC, 2004. She is living and working in Gothenburg as a lecturer at the Academy Valand, University of Gothenburg since 2014. The artist has a large number of solo and group exhibitions behind her, among others at Overgaden - Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; Das Deutsche Historiche Museum, Berlin; FADO Performance Art Centre, Toronto.   

The exhibition was supported by: 
The Danish Arts Foundation, City of Aarhus and BUPL’s Solidaritets- og Kulturpulje.