Gerry Smith

 

Freya Gabie
Duet
20 January - 24 February 2024
Private view 19 January - 6 - 9 pm

Difficult Maps

Difficult Maps 2022
Pen on paper
each 59 x 79 cm (framed)
Drawings made in EP/CJ Chamizal plants growing on the U.S./Mexican border. This hardy desert plant gave its name to a long-running dispute caused by a southern shift in the Rio Grande river. Every part of this plant is used by native Tigua Indians.

DUET
Duet is a body of work made while on and in response to spending three months as artist in residence on the Mexican/U.S. border. The exhibition explores the landscape of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez as a repository of shared connections and experience. Giving the land voice to both remember and carry the complications, contradictions, and beauty of the place; the way these nuances act in harmony, and the notes of discord they strike.
For this exhibition, Freya Gabie draws out threads that weave the two cities of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso together. Approaching the intricate back and forth of economic, social, and medical journeys that take place between the people and objects of the border, and examining how the border both generates the flow of goods, services, and people and dams it, revealing the ways the resulting impacts are felt.
The work considers the landscape the two cities share, approaching the exploitation and exclusion of the land’s natural resources to ask how this may echo the exploitation and exclusion created by an international border. The exhibition also focuses on both cities’ relationship with the native flora: indigenous plants specifically adapted to the hardness of the desert and crucial to the survival of communities for centuries before the settlement of Paso Del Norte, are now reframed alongside plants brought here from other places. The work seeks to negotiate how these introductions displace, change, and challenge the delicate environmental and social balance of a desert region.

A leaflet featuring commissioned writings by Chloe Hodge, Project Curator and Manager, Commissions, Tate Britain and Kerry Doyle, Director of the Rubin Center of Visual Arts, will be available during the exhibition.

Click here to read the leaflet

Freya Gabie studied sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art. Her work is site responsive and she regularly works collaboratively with individuals and communities in the UK and abroad, from opera singers, clog dancers, and archaeologists, to iron miners, and many people in between. She has exhibited and been commissioned widely, both internationally and in the UK. Previous projects include; Duet The Bar, El Paso, USA,  All Fired Up  a collaborative commission with Historic England responding to the Ceramic Industry of Stoke on Trent and Poole, Hold The Line Journeying aboard the Dr Fridtjof Nansen vessel with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research down the South West coast of Africa, Leonardo Da Vinci, A life in Drawing Bristol Museum, Palsmuseum, Sweden, Châteaux De Bosmolet, Diep-Haven Festival France, USF Art Centre, Norway, Neo: Bolton, 108 New York, Fljótstunga Iceland and, Franconia Sculpture Park USA. She is currently undergoing a public artwork commission for UCL for the new neurological research hospital being built on Gray’s Inn Road for the IoN, DRI, and UCLH. Freya has just returned from a residency in Bangalore, India, where she has been responding to two historic gardens, Lalbagh Botanic garden and Cubbon Park, towards an exhibition at Artcore, Darby, UK in spring 2024.

Kerry Doyle is the Director of the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at The University of Texas at El Paso. She specializes in curatorial projects that are interdisciplinary, participatory and performative, with a special focus on the border as subject and site. Doyle regularly collaborates with individuals and institutions from both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez in the execution of a wide range of interdisciplinary and community-engaged programming. She has curated and organized original exhibitions, commissions and performances by international artists including Tomás Saraceno, Tania Candiani, Regina Jose Galindo, Teresa Margolles, Máximo Gonzalez, Jose Antonio Vega Macotela, Fiamma Montezemolo, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Minerva Cuevas and many others. She was a fellow at the Smithsonian Latino Institute (2009) and the Getty Institute for Museum Leadership (2014). She holds a BA in Political Science from De Paul University, Chicago; a BA in Drawing and Printmaking and an MA in Border Studies from UTEP.

Chloe Hodge is a London-based curator with ten years’ experience working with international artists and institutions. Chloe specialises in commissioning public artworks, for biennials and free collection displays, providing open access to contemporary artworks and art history. Currently, Chloe is Curator and Project Manager of Commissions at London’s Tate Britain, having recently finished the rehang of the museum’s Collection Displays spanning 500 years of British art. Prior to this, Chloe has carried out curatorial projects with institutions including Fondation Beyeler, The State Hermitage Museum, Venice Biennale, Biennale of Sydney and Taipei Biennial, and public art commissions for HS2, The Line, Folkestone Triennial, the City of Vienna and Mayor of London. Chloe has an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.


 

 

 Thief 2023 terracotta, porcelain and copper cast rubber bands
Thief 2023
terracotta, porcelain and copper cast rubber bands


 Cut
Cut 2022
Pack of open playing cards each displaying one of the original rose name plaques from the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden in the 1950s. The names echo the cultural/political climate of the time and offer an insight into the U.S. relationship to Mexico/colonialism/empire.

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