A Map is not the Territory by Martin McCormack & Elizabeth White and Curated by Jessamyn Fiore opens on Friday from 6pm-9pm at the FiveMyles Gallery located at 558 St. Johns Place – Brooklyn, NY 11238.
From the city grid to the human form, we map our physical world in an attempt to quantify our identity as two-dimensional ‘fact’. This exhibition brings together two artists who question the authority of such documents by using them as found material. From a giant assemblage of New York City to the delicate lines of the human face, Martin McCormack and Elizabeth White illuminate what dwells beneath the map.
For the past two and a half years Martin McCormack has visited every neighborhood in the five boroughs to collect maps culled from delivery menus, informational brochures, tourist pamphlets, and whatever other local ephemera he can find. Through meticulous collage, layering these hundreds of maps together, McCormack has created one giant map of New York City, an impressive work being shown for the first time in this exhibition. The result of his obsessive effort is a beautiful and striking representation of the city we live in now, layering upon the grid not just a reflection of physical urban space but also the varying identities of each local place.
Elizabeth White – Knowledge and the Love of Mankind
This series of drawings by Elizabeth White makes reference to Johann Lavater’s “Essays on Physiognomy” (Leipzig, 1775) that promoted physiognomy as “the science or knowledge of the correspondence between the external and internal man, the visible superficies and the invisible contents.” The drawings in this series are recreations of illustrations commissioned by Lavater to document figurative lines and curves and aid the reader in learning to decipher individuals’ character and intelligence through facial features. In a world of expanding uncertainties, the idea of a system to decode bodily signs, penetrate character, and provide for efficient categorization offered the ultimate fantasy of control, and as recent controversies around immigration legislation and racial profiling attest, visual classification remains a primary tactic in the quest for security. In recreating Lavater’s illustrations, White is interested in the tension between the presence and absence of information, and how without context, these marks, originally intended to carry so much meaning, may be read as minimal abstractions.
Following the opening, Exhibition Hours for the show will be, Thursday – Sunday from 1-6pm or by appointment 718-783-4438