Saturday, April 24, 2010


I found Boston Based artist Denise Marika via Mass MoCA website looking for an exhibition of Anselm Kiefler (thinking I could see it later this summer) but its been taken down it seems.

(Words and images from Marika or Mass MoCA website.)
The above image comes from Marika's Turn Away (1991) comprised of two sculptural elements: a five-sided (8'x8'x20') plywood box and a long copper drawer at the far end that houses three video monitors. Museum visitors are drawn into the plywood box to see the images on the monitors. The monitors show Marika's nude figure lying in the drawer as if in a coffin. She lies on her side facing the visitors, opens her eyes slightly, and quickly turns away. The action is repeated endlessly. Already confined, (within the plywood box, the copper drawer, and the TV monitors), the figure further confines herself socially by turning away from the visitor.

Turn Away: (Click to see small video)

Marika Installation #2

Images from Artist Denise Marika's Unearthed.

A woman, crouched on her haunches, throws hunks of red clay on the wall. She pushes and pounds at the wet clay with her hands and fingers, working to cover as much of the wall as she can reach. Just as the clay surface nears completion, she frantically begins to rip it down. As the wall is uncovered, remnants of the red clay mark the re-exposed areas of the wall and mark her body. For almost an hour, she builds and destroys her work, the sound of pounding hands and falling clay punctuated by her labored breathing.

Click to see Video from Uneartherd 2001 by Boston artist Denise Marika

Marika Instillation # 3.

Product of Expurgation

Expurgate: To cleanse of something morally harmfull, offensive or erroneous; especially: to expunge objectionable parts from before publication or presentation. (Miriam Webster Dictionary)

I am interested in how we experience loss in the erasure of information and dissolution of identity. My task was to shred newspapers, images and sound; stories that were once whole are now emptied of content. I want to make tangible the voided material and the discomforting sound of its removal.


... here we are butt naked
but where should we begin
its not the flesh we're after
but the howling ghost within--
help me draw the line...

Peace to all who enter here, and much dancing. : )
exo blessings and Joy to you all.


layers said...

This is a very interesting and thought provoking post of a fascinating artist and the concept of identity.

Anonymous said...

she is powerful.

all of them literally shout at you.

From the subtlety of the three monitored ox to the tension of the red clay wall.

mansuetude said...

Thank you.

Donna, I agree; the context in these is so multifaceted too; one can read it on many levels of self or culture...
and like Kafka's ax that breaks the frozen sea within, at first i wanted to turn away from the image--so then i knew i had to turn back.

I am waiting for my copy of Horiuchi to come.

grrl, yes powerful. Subtle and almost so obvious too; almost archetype of feminist ideas made into small paragraphs of action.

the woman's body in the Unearthed, red clay one, is almost exact to some life size bronzes of a woman squatting to give birth that were published in The Georgia Review back in the 90's; my mind went right back to them. The sound plays a huge role too.

Thank you both for visiting.

Seth said...

Facinating concepts behind these exhibitions.

lynne h said...

oh, this art is something... i cannot find words that are adequate.

mostly i want to say thank you for showing us this, and

exo blessings

blissings to



(and yes to david gray)

mansuetude said...

Seth~ Thanks you


Probably not easy (to have thrown at you) (esp after our "words")...
Thanks for commenting.

David Gray I just discovered *xm radio in the car. loving his irish way of saying.

Big silly bliss grin to you!

rivergardenstudio said...

Wow. Very powerful and haunting too.
And thank you for sharing David Gray and letting me discover him... roxanne

mansuetude said...

Thanks Roxanne~

i have discovered so much music from your blog; i felt i was the only one who didn't know David Gray. I think his presence in the states is less known, maybe.

Hope you're well.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

WOW! This holds me in a place of thinking, feeling outside and inside said before...very powerful!

Christine said...

Wow. These are amazing. Thank you for sharing these (and words and links). Beautiful and inspiring.

How are you, M?

mansuetude said...

Two more Wow s. Yes!

Mary Ann ~ I am so glad you liked it.

You too Christine... How am I? Enjoying the amazing Spring we've had weather so perfect, and exploring the coastline here. But under all that I am processing alot. You know how it is.

Blessings to you both.

Christine said...

Thank you. Heartfelt blessings to you.
Yes, I know ...

andrea tachezy said...

A lot of greetings, after a long time...Thanks for your visit, I hope I´ll see you more often.

Anonymous said...

maybe we are danding to the same DJ here..

I discovered her rather disturbing art last week..

pondered on it..

and then moved on. Maybe it was the allusion to shit smearing on the walls that got me.

On a two seater - well that's fine, but walls, I draw the line.

So to speak.

karin said...

hi there mansuetude, hope you're fine :))

Cavana Faithwalker said...

Wonderful expressive approachable work of performance art.