Sensors for the Unsound
September 12 – October 31, 2015
Gallery One

Exhibition Text

ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Sensors for the Unsound, a solo exhibition of new work by Jeremy Bolen in Gallery One.

Chicago, IL, September 12, 2015- ANDREW RAFACZ begins the fall season with Sensors for the Unsound, a solo exhibition of photographs, paintings and sculpture by Jeremy Bolen. The exhibition continues through Saturday, October 31, 2015.

For Jeremy Bolen’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, the artist presents new works that investigate the Anthropocene, a term denoting this current time period where humankind and nature have become permanently entangled, impacting every aspect of existence. Investigating these entanglements, Bolen’s works serve as evolving records for unseen and unresolved energies still emanating from charged sites and objects that continue to grow in erratic ways.

Using experimental documentary techniques, the artist collects data from a number of seemingly disparate sites, connected by the similar ways they have been changed through human intervention and manipulation. Over the last four years, the artist has engaged in field research in both Vieques, Puerto Rico, where significant military testing took place for over 60 years and Ottawa, Illinois, where young women painted clock dials with radium laced luminescent paint beginning in 1920. Today both sites have multiple landscapes existing at once: the visible spectrum of abandoned factories, military bunkers, rivers, forests, oceans and laboratories and the invisible toxins and radioactivity that flow beyond our sensory capabilities.

The artist uses a multi-media approach to present his field research as hybrid art objects. One body of work in the exhibition, Undark/Ottawa #1 – #4 operate as studies of the still-present energies emanating from the clocks painted by female dial painters. In recent years, Bolen has collected many of these antique clocks whose glow has long ago faded, and discovered that through subjecting them to a high powered blast of light, he can reactivate the glow for a millisecond in an attempt to capture the momentary luminescence with a camera and photographic film. The film from these investigations is then left with the clocks for several weeks absorbing the radiating energy and scarring it with sublime, ghostly images and patterns. These filmic documents of latent radiation are then framed by neutral photographic paper painted with the wash from the original film’s development in the dark room.

Other works in the exhibition offer a disparate language of collected and considered materials that act as sensors, filters and frames including window screening, erosion pads, lawn seed blankets, industrial rubberizer and particles of negative photographic film. Every work in Sensors for the Unsound becomes its own system, operating as both document and recorder, simultaneously collecting and presenting both visible and invisible phenomena with the hope of extending our modes of observation.

JEREMY BOLEN (American, b. 1977) lives and works in Chicago. He received his MFA from UIC in 2012. He is a recent recipient of the OxBow Faculty Artist Residency in Saugatuck, MI; Anthropocene Curriculum Campus Artist in Residence at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; Center for Land Use Interpretation Residency in Wendover, Utah and Joshua Tree Highlands Residency in Joshua Tree, CA. His work has been widely exhibited in galleries and institutions, including Galerie Zurcher, Paris; Salon Zurcher, New York; The Drake, Toronto; Untitled Art Fair, Miami; Depaul University Art Museum, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, and Roots and Culture, Chicago. His work was recently included in Ghost Nature at La Box, Bourges, France and Gallery 400, Chicago; Fragments of an Unknowable World, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Lateral, The Mission, Houston, TX; and Phantoms in the Dirt, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL. He is included in numerous private and public collections.