Marina Black: UNSEEN June 11 — August 28, 2021

Inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War, the imagery from the series Hasard Anticipé may be associated with inward and outward conflicts. I comment on moral questions that emerge from the knowledge that harm and malevolence occur in both worlds: outside, and, to an extent, inside our minds.

Portraying children rather than adults feels like magnifying fears and scars of childhood. I like the confrontation they create, that is simultaneously suggestive of tenderness and cruelty. I am interested in investigating the complexities of the childhood world, and how susceptible children could be to mental and physical injuries. While there might be joy in childhood, there are also bullies, strangers, loneliness and conflicts to be negotiated.

All combined, I like to subvert the sanitized notion of children as innocent beings, removed from and unaware of ambition for power and control. The images, populated mainly by the youth, represent dark forces akin to spirits or villains from childhood dreams or worse – the incarnations, that exist inside our minds and might never entirely mature.

MARINA BLACK MAKES HER DEBUT AT CATHERINE EDELMAN GALLERY 

Catherine Edelman Gallery is pleased to present MARINA BLACK: UNSEEN, the artists’ first solo gallery exhibition in the United States. The show opens June 11 and runs through August 28, 2021.There will be an in-person public reception on Friday, June 11, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Masks are required to enter the gallery. The gallery with be open to the public on June 12, and June 15 -19, from 10:00 to 5:30 pm. Thereafter, we will be open by appointment.

There are many photographers whose work reveals its intent upon first viewing. Then there are photographers like Marina Black, whose images reveal themselves slowly, allowing the viewer multiple interpretations. Black cites Goya’s The Disasters of War as one of her main influences, which many have interpreted as a protest against violence and the public who remain complicit. Her series Hasard Anticipé (anticipated chance) casts children as the subjects through which fear, joy, trauma, and innocence are addressed. In Blacks world, the sanitized assumptions of childhood are replaced by the reality that innocence can be lost when children are not protected. As she states: “I am interested in investigating the complexities of the childhood world, and how susceptible children can be to mental and physical injuries. While there might be joy in childhood, there are also bullies, strangers, loneliness, and conflicts that need to be negotiated.” In Hasard Anticipé, Marina Black presents photographs of daily activities – dancing, a soccer game, children swimming – that seem ordinary until wires, ropes, and other objects obscure reality and the identity of those pictured. Black invites the viewer to construct their own narratives, while suggesting that innocence is something to attain, and should not be taken for granted. 

In her newest series, Palimpsests, Black creates fictional histories for unnamed people. As she says: “I have been slipping in and out of multiple characters, where my invented protagonists are closer to characters of a novel, I call the Unlikely Archive. They live through diverse historical periods and traverse vast geographies. Their faces and stories reflect the stories of those who have gone before, resulting in multilayered fictions. Slipping into my characters’ minds, I work on their behalf, from making history to being caught in it.” Once again, Black provides hints into a photograph’s meaning, while the viewer fills in the events. Together, Hasard Anticipé and Palimpsests ask more questions than are answered, offering meanings that change based on our own past. 

Marina Black was born in Moscow, Russia and currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

DIGITAL FILES FROM UNSEEN ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST 

Themes central to Marina Black' work, whether in photography, drawing or writing, are mortality & anguish, beauty & abjectness of the human body, identity & memory. Most of her work may be categorized as ‘portraits’ but rather than representing an actual person, they represent a state of mind. She is interested in the emotional truth in people’s lives: what their existence like underneath the surface? She is intrigued by the idea that when words disappear the body’s presence continues to be felt through spacing, punctuation, and light.

 

Black’s photography is about experimentation and the physical process of reworking the surface. She works in analogue, digital and camera-less technologies and likes the tactile qualities of prints, and dealing with fragments, that often take her to a new place.

 

Marina Black originally studied History and Painting, then art has become her primary preoccupation. Black received W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award in Fine Arts for outstanding achievement in creative & scholarly work, as well as a number of Ontario Arts Council grants. She was a featured exhibitor of the CONTACT International Photography Festival. Her work has been published in Eyemazing Susan Vol.II, curated by Susan Zadeh; FOSSILS OF LIGHT + TIME, curated by Elizabeth Avedon, an editor of L’Oeil de la Photographie; Mercy project, curated by a photographer James Withlow Delano; and BURN, 1st edition, curated by a Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey. Black’s work has been shown in solo & group exhibitions worldwide and reviewed in numerous fine art publications. She maintains an active art practice both independently and collaboratively working with artists from different mediums. Her photographs are included in the public collection of Heritage Municipal Museum of Malaga, Spain; in Alliance Francaise in Canada; in IZOLYATSIA non-governmental arts foundation, Ukraine.

Images from Hasard Anticipé made before 2018 are available as 7 x 7" pigment prints on Japanese handmade paper in an edition of 5 + 2APs. Images made 2018 to the present are made in an edition of 15 + 2APs. Pieces range in price from $1900 to $3400, depending on availability. Work from Palimpsests are 7 x 6" pigment print with Japanese oil paint & medium made in an Ed. of 15 + 2APs. Pieces range inprice from $1900 to $3400.
 
Please call (312) 266-2350 or email catherine@edelmangallery.com for prices of specific pieces. Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated

 

Marina Black
3 Birds, 2018
Marina Black
Alice in the Garden, 2020
Marina Black
Brother and Sister, 2018
Marina Black
Class Photo, 2014
Marina Black
Dancers, 2014/2015
Marina Black
Goya, 2018
Marina Black
Grandma, 2013
Marina Black
Hands and Feet, 2015
Marina Black
In the Eyes of Night, 2015
Marina Black
In the Studio, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsest: Figure Head, 2019
Marina Black
Palimpsest: Nuit et Lune, 2019
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Alexandra, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Amleth, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Anastasia, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Irene, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Lev, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Man in White Shirt, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Olga, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Reinette, 2020
Marina Black
Palimpsests: Revolution, 2020
Marina Black
Soccer Team, 2014
Marina Black
Summer Swim, 2015
Marina Black
The Origin of Species, 2015
Marina Black
While You Held Me, 2015
Marina Black
You, 2014-2015