Fri, 05/06/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:15pm
by Jenny Montgomery
Salon Refu is delighted to host a complex installation of poetry and objects by Jenny Seymore Montgomery, opening (with a boffo artist talk) on Friday, May 6, 2015 at 6 p.m. There will be refreshments to support your enjoyment of Jenny's cabinet of wonders - a physically expressed story of difficulty and triumph. Serious, not cheesy!
About the Work
“Hatch” is an experiment in literary installation. It began as a chapbook of poems exploring a devastating birth experience and the eventual joys of parenting an uncommon (and exceptionally funny) child. Images from the poems are “built out” in the gallery space, made from materials which reach back to touch prehistoric ritual traditions surrounding death and the afterlife (red ochre, stone mounds, shroud wrappings, etc.), objects from a romantic, idealized nursery, religious items, and medical flotsam and pharmaceuticals. Large scale poems and fragments surround the viewer, telling the story of a child’s near death experience, physical disability, and exuberant embrace of life and language.
“This show is a ritual attempt to re-document our experience in ways that reach beyond the medical and the finite toward a narrative of spirit and metamorphosis,” says Jenny Montgomery, who enjoyed collaborating with her seven-year old son on some of the pieces.
Aspects of the work grapple with our culture’s death-denying, instrumentalist, and scientific worldview and point toward the pre-modern transcendent—toward wisdom traditions and secret “hatches” leading to other realms. Many pieces invite the viewer into the symbol-rich world of childhood, where archetypal forces are encountered in the primal theater of play. “As children work to find their place in a mysterious world, themes of struggle, mortality, safety, rescue, absurdity, magic, and the limits of our agency appear again and again,” says Montgomery. “Like play, art is a form of ritual—a highly charged field of action in which our relationship to forces beyond our control can shift and re-form.”
About the Artist
Jenny (Seymore) Montgomery’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Unsplendid, Switched-on Gutenberg, the New York Times, Gathering of the Tribes, Sensitive Skin, and the Cairo Times. She was educated at the Evergreen State College (where artist Marilyn Frasca was a strong formative influence) and Columbia University. She lives Missoula, Montana where she owns a distillery with her husband, Ryan.
Susan Christian's Project Space: Salon Refu
114 N Capitol Way, downtown Olympia