July 3, 2021–July 22, 2021
oneWall 2021: Making Sense of the Floating Word
July 3, 2021–July 22, 2021 | Part of Current Exhibitions
The first of a series of four exhibitions that aim to explore the usage of text as an intrinsic part of the artwork
Starts July 3, 2021
Ends July 22, 2021
Venue 1x1 Art Gallery
The floating world, or ukiyo-e, is both a reality and an illusion. On the verge of modernity in 17th century Japan, a myriad of characters, tales, and sceneries come together on paper to conjure up an increasingly complex and interconnected world. These artworks aim both to capture and comprehend the ever-changing daily lives of people and would have a broad and profound transnational impact, especially in France. American artist Judy Blum Reddy’s practice encompasses this will to try to make sense of the world while assessing its fluidity and intricacy. Likewise, Reddy’s own experience is entangled in different translocal itineraries.
In a strange way, the pandemic came to mean productivity for Judy Blum Reddy, culminating in this exhibition of recent artworks. The elegance of Reddy’s work lays in its simplicity. Though Reddy’s collage works are complex, the way she reproduces images are straightforward. She spends time with her materials and chooses which ones to reproduce by hand and which ones to photocopy, cut, and paste. It brings a human and haptic quality to her artworks. Reddy is not set on being exclusive or exhaustive in her selection of contents. There are images as well as words. She has a sensible and reflective stance on the subjects she contemplates. Her topics range from the personal to the communal, but never a speedily drawn conclusion.
Language also plays an important and powerful role in her practice. Reddy says in jest that this tendency to sort through categories of things with lists and taking notes might have to do with her working for more than twenty years at the Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Archives of African-American Culture. What I hope to emphasize here is not the artist’s will to organize. In fact, what Judy Blum Reddy does seems more akin to the process of trying to partially contain the chaotic and what cannot be standardized, not without irony, be it a life or a grave social issue. The trial itself is a contradictory act that the viewer should take into consideration not simply as granted but as a rhetoric question to ponder upon. The boundaries are ever so porous. Language connects her daily life and artistic work so that the artwork itself would have to descend from the pedestal and ask, under this appearance of a floating world - where is the past and what of the future?
Installation view of Self+Life+To Write, 2017 & Revisiting The......, 2019
Installation view of Song Tracks, 2003 & Citizen, 2020