This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens a body measured against the earth, an exhibition of work largely drawn from the MCA Collection that focuses on artists who stage encounters between the earth and the body.
The title comes from a quote, "Walking...is how the body measures itself against the Earth," by ecofeminist writer Rebecca Solnit, who writes about the spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic significance of walking. The exhibition features artists using their bodies as their primary tool to measure, understand, and document the landscape, and investigating specific places and histories. A body measured against the earth is on view from August 25, 2018 to April 7, 2019 and is organized by Jared Quinton, former MCA Curatorial Fellow.
The exhibition takes inspiration from the ephemeral 'earth-body' works staged by Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta during the 1970s, in which she imprinted shapes of her silhouette into sites in Mexico and Cuba and preserved them as a series of photographs titled Siluetas. Drawing on her experience as an immigrant, the series explores themes of displacement and re-establishing lost connections with place, history, and identity, and reflects Mendieta's belief in the body as the artist's most powerful medium.
The exhibit weaves the legacies of these artists alongside more recent work in conceptual photography and video.