OCA Center, 455 25th Street, Ogden
Opening Reception: December 10th, 6-8pm
Also Sisters: Sonia & Miriam Albert-Sobrino
LAND BODY, opening this winter at Ogden Contemporary Arts Center, explores connections between the human body and the landscape from the perspectives of eleven female artists. Hailing from Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, the artists pay particular attention to desert environments with work that speaks to environmental issues and climate concerns, cultural histories, female identity, and more. Exhibited artists present a variety of mediums including installation, photography, sculpture, painting, and video. LAND BODY is presented by Ogden Contemporary Arts and curated by Kelly Carper. The exhibition opens on December 10th at OCA Center with a VIP reception for OCA members and media from 4-6pm, and a public opening from 6-8pm. Additional programming TBA.
“The body and the landscape have been comparatively explored throughout art history, particularly with feminine connotations and from the perspectives of male artists,” states Carper, curator of the exhibition. “LAND BODY is a contemporary exploration of this inherent relationship featuring female artists of various cultural backgrounds. The exhibition draws metaphorical and physical connections between desert landscapes and women’s bodies, while broadly reflecting on the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world.”
Exhibited artists represent diverse cultural lineages, thus offering distinct perspectives and varied relationships with the land. Historical narratives relating to the African diaspora are explored and reclaimed through the work of Nikesha Breeze, whose film piece Stages of Tectonic Blackness points to the paralleled processes of dehumanization and extraction, emergence and rebellion, as sustained by Black bodies and rock bodies. Native American photographer Cara Romero’s exhibited images speak to visceral connections between indigenous women and their ancestral landscapes; the Santa Fe-based artist often comments on the hyper-sexualization of Native women in the histories of photography, and the environmental destruction of Native lands through her work.
Utah-based artist Wendy Wischer explores socio-political themes in her multi-media installation Battlegrounds, which compares today’s land ownership, management, and policy with the ownership, management, and policy around women’s bodies. Jaclyn Wright, another Utah-based artist, similarly explores the exploitation of the land and the female body through work that blends traditional photographic techniques with contemporary digital processes and performance.
Other artists who use performative practices in their work include Jill O’Bryan, whose large scale Desert Frottage drawings record her body’s interactions with the desert, and Chelsea Call, whose exhibited photographs represent her immersive experience as an artist resident in Bears Ears National Monument. An artist and art therapist, Call’s images observe the kinship between her body and the landscape in relation to grief and trauma. Brazilian-born artist Josie Bell’s paintings similarly connect human emotion with the landscape, using natural materials to depict the earth’s beauty as well as its scars, often through abstracted figurative forms.
Al Denyer, originally from England and currently based in Utah, is known for meticulous line work drawings and paintings that describe the landscape from different vantage points. For LAND BODY, Denyer brings the line to life with a fiber wall installation referencing a local mountain ridgeline. Her new medium specifically references traditionally feminine arts and craft materials such as thread and yarn, confronting classic ideas of femininity in art and its association with the landscape.
Desert landscapes of the Middle East and North African region are represented through the work of Tucson-based artist Sama Alshaibi, whose video piece Wasl (Union) examines connections between cultures that are under threat of displacement due to increasing water scarcity and rising ocean levels. This work is part of her experiential, seven-year Silsila project (debuted at the 55th Venice Biennale), which probes the human dimensions of borders, migration, and ecological demise.
Completing the exhibition in OCA’s second floor galleries is an immersive digital installation by Galician filmmakers Sonia and Miriam Albert-Sobrino, together known as the Also Sisters. An adaptation of their recent project, On the Margins of Metaxy, this piece draws viewers into a more liminal land-body experience using dreamy and disorienting imagery of the female body moving through shifting landscapes.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Kelly Carper is an independent art consultant, curator and art writer currently based in Ogden, Utah. She received her bachelor’s degree in Art History and Communications (Public Relations) from Virginia Tech, and has a background in fine art sales, gallery marketing and management in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has consulted with and provided services for art galleries, nonprofits and creative businesses on marketing and PR practices, and is a freelance writer for local and national arts publications. In 2019 she developed Carper Contemporary as a platform for independent art consulting and curatorial projects, including a series of six exhibitions at the Argo House in Ogden for locally based contemporary artists. She is passionate about expanding the presence of contemporary art in the community while supporting working artists. Learn more about her work at kellycarper.com.
ABOUT OGDEN CONTEMPORARY ARTS AND OCA CENTER
Ogden Contemporary Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that creates and shares globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advanced arts programing in Ogden, Utah. OCA’s vision is to inspire local and regional artists through active involvement with the international contemporary art community. OCA strives to be viewed as a credible and internationally respected arts organization while empowering artists with the facilities, environment and experience to excel in their medium and enrich their lives.
OCA Center is Ogden Contemporary Arts’ flagship exhibition space located in the historic Monarch building at 455 25th Street in Ogden. The multi-use space opened in November 2020 after a significant gift from the Dr. Ezekiel R. & Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation. The Center’s main gallery is titled the “Arts Garage,” named for the building’s historic origin as a 1920s industrial parking garage for the neighboring Bigelow Hotel. OCA Center also includes a digital art room, second floor gallery space, and two artist lofts that can be utilized as additional exhibition space or studios for visiting artists.
Weber County RAMP, Utah Office of Tourism, Utah Legislature and Utah Division of Arts & Museums. This exhibition is presented in OCA’s main gallery: the Dumke Arts Garage, the digital gallery, and second floor gallery including Studio 1 and Studio 2.
Location: OCA Center, 455 25th Street, Ogden
Date: December 10th, 6-8pm
Location: OCA Center, 455 25th Street, Ogden
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