Acting in Numbers

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Acting in Numbers

Mary Coble

From January 12, 2018 19:00 to February 25, 2018 17:00

Opening: Friday January 12th

Posted by Galleri Image

Acting in Numbers

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.  

On Saturday, January 13th, an artist talk with Mary Coble is held at Gallery Image. And on January 27th there will be a seminar with Mary Coble, Annika Lundgren, Stense Andrea Lind-Valdan, Nanna Gro Henningsen and Rune Gade. Further information on this follows. The exhibition will appear until 25 February. Tuesday - Sunday at 13.00 to 17.00.  

Read more about Mary Coble here:  

Acting in Numbers - Linking Photography, Performance and Activism 
on Saturday January 27, 2018, 1 pm. - 6 p.m

During the exhibition period, the complex relations between art and activism as well as photography and performance will further be explored in a public seminar with other practitioners.

The seminar is in english and will include Mary Coble who will present a live work and facilitate a panel discussion. Annika Lundgren will be presenting extracts from Winter is Coming - an investigation in progress, inquiring into the relationship between spiritualist practices and the new species of right wing populism that has been emerging in the political landscape over the last 15 years. The project belongs to Lundgren's work series State of Affairs which takes its starting point in various current phenomena and operates with the associative linking of ideas and theories to create new political perspectives. Artist Stense Andrea Lind-Valdan and Art Historian and critic Rune Gade will participate with a performative dialogue about their current collaborative project Fountain. This - in progress dialogue - will connect performance and photography as well as art history, artistic research, and artistic practice into a productive, personal, and intimate dialogue. The artist Nanna Gro Henningsen will be presenting abstracts from A European Afternoon - a cycle of songs for unequal voices and a video montage presenting a historical and mythical take on the politics and humanitarian crisis of contemporary Europe. The metofology and historiography of the work is that of montage from art and literature to news media and refers to the dialectical image of Walter Benjamin's esthetic thinking. Moderator of the seminar is Judith Schwarzbart, rector of Jutland Art Academi. 

Annika Lundgren is an artist, currently based in Gothenburg and presently Deputy Artistic Director at Skogen. She has been employing imagery and gestures of marginalized forms of knowledge production in her previous work such as the performance series Strategies of Magic, using them as tools to locate the political in different contemporary contexts.
Please visit her website at: 

Andrea Lind-Valdan is a Copenhagen, Denmark based artist who works with painting in the extended field. Her work is based on a painterly, formal, and autobiographical approach expanding into photography, performance, and written poetry, dealing primarily with issues such as motherhood, love, violence, and desire. 
Please visit her blogs here:  http://stenseandrealindvaldan.blogspot.se 

Rune Gade is a Copenhagen, Denmark based Art Historian and critic as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He specializes in Danish and International contemporary photography's history and theory, performance, gender theory, and feminism, picture pornography, museology and exhibition analysis and art criticism.

Nanna Gro Henningsen is a Copenhagen, Denmark based artist who works with instillation, text, photography and video. Her method is to implement the fragment as a grammatical element in spacial, linguistic or iconographic montages. In order to create new readings or breaks in conventional cultural, political or historical imaginations, challenging the concept of history. 

The exhibition is supported by Danish Arts Foundation, City of Aarhus, and BUPL Solidaritets- og Kulturfond.

Photo credit: Henry Chan, from the series PULSE