Sarah and Joseph Belknap’s current practice reflects upon our place in the cosmos, their newest works which have been made for the exhibition include sculptures, a site-specific installation, and a multi-channel video. The Belknaps, who were married in 2008 and began working together in the same year, have an interdisciplinary practice which draws from a range of sources including the history of science, notions of space in the popular imagination, and personal observations.
The exhibition at MCA Chicago features an array of tactile sculptures that the artists describe as “moon skins” modelled on the moons of Earth and Jupiter, as well as distant exoplanets. The craggy surface of the moon is replicated by hand-carving a model and then casting it in silicone rubber. Here, one of the MCA’s galleries is filled with a twenty-four foot installation of two enormous craters placed side by side: one based on the largest impact crater on the Earth, in South Africa, and the other on the largest crater on the moon.
These sculptural reliefs map two different topographies, more than 200,000 miles apart but similar in appearance, and therefore allude to the ancient history of asteroid collisions that the Earth and moon have in common. The exhibition also includes a new video based on five satellite feeds of the sun that shows solar activity such as sunspots and magnetic discharges. These works burst with colour and light, and reveal elements of our universe which are usually invisible to the human eye.
Sarah and Joseph Belknap: BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works, until 24 February 2015, The Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago. For more information visit www2.mcachicago.org.
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1. Sarah Belknap and Joseph Belknap, Exoplanet Skin (1), 2014 and Deflated Moon Skin (1), 2014. Photo courtesy of the artists.