How Far So Near
January 17 – February 23, 2023
Artists’ talk and reception: January 19, 2023, 5:30 p.m. CST
Newcomb Art Dept., Woldenberg Art Center
New Orleans, LA, 70118, USA
An exhibition of transoceanic, international collaborations by multimedia artists Angela Bartram and Lee Deigaard and writer Mandy-Suzanne Wong, exploring multiplicities of mind and being, multispecies empathy, and considerate coexistences.
From Deigaard’s studio on the US Gulf Coast, through the Gulf Stream in the midst of which is Wong’s Bermuda home, flowing northeast on the Atlantic Ocean’s warm internal river to Bartram’s Nottingham, UK, and all the way back again in meshing currents: communications intersect and echo other awarenesses, distinct but abutting knowledges and sensoria. Humans have the technology to amplify our calls across vast distances, even further than elephants who rumble subsonically to summon and sense the other many miles away. From human to human, human to animal, through channels apart from sound, proximal presence, or touch: gulf as rift doubles back on itself to gulf’s alternate meaning as an oceanographic convergence. The collaborators share an oxygen, a sense of hope and enmeshment through communication much like any animal calling to another from far branches who is answered in kind.
This exhibition explores iterative and connective processes of twinning and doubling; of companionate mirroring, transcription, reproduction, and translation; of connection and echoes within the greater emptying; of weaving new enmeshments to connect against the vanishing, to establish animality and parity—holding open the space of memory, the gulfs which are necessary to love even beyond death, at any remove, in service.
Angela Bartram is an artist and artistic researcher working with objects, sound, video, print, performance event and published text, concerning thresholds of the human body, gallery or museum, definitions of the human and animal as companion species and appropriate strategies for documenting the ephemeral. She is Professor of Contemporary Art and Head of Arts Research and the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre at the University of Derby, and has a PhD from Middlesex University.
Lee Deigaard is an artist and writer whose work responds to spontaneous voluntary interactions with generous, curious animal collaborators. She works in a variety of media exploring multi-species empathy, animal cognition and personality, sensory processes of memory and grief, and the nature of intimacy . She has shown and presented her work nationally and internationally in numerous solo and group shows. She is a poet, writer, bookmaker, and curator, and was recently Distinguished Visiting Professor at Utah State University.
Mandy-Suzanne Wong is the author of the novel Drafts of a Suicide Note, a Foreword Indies and Permafrost Book Prize finalist; the essay collection Listen, we all bleed, an ASLE Book Award finalist and EcoLit Best Book of 2021; the award-winning chapbooks Awabi and Artificial Wilderness; and the exhibition catalogue Animals Across Discipline, Time, and Space. Her novel The Box will be published by Graywolf Press in September 2023.