Brad Thiele,  point to point navigation , 2013

Brad Thiele, point to point navigation, 2013

SHOW #27:



Curated by Blair Murphy

Dates: September 3rd - October 24th, 2015


OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, September 3rd, 6-8pm
READING: Wednesday, October 21, 7pm

Field Projects is pleased to present MARGINALIAS, an exhibition of work by Molly Springfield, Brad Thiele, and Wilmer Wilson IV.

Marginalias features work by three artists who appropriate, re-use, alter, mark-up, and transform texts and books. Each artist explores the meanings that accrue to written materials through circulation and propose new ways of understanding existing texts.

Beyond their interest in language, the artists share a dedication to collection and a fidelity to self-imposed rules. They utilize appropriated text and materials, but in the service of highly subjective, personal, and even idiosyncratic projects. Rather than approaching appropriation and rules-based practice as a means of disavowing authorship, the artists in Marginalias foreground their own engagement with the texts at hand.

In Brad Thiele’s re-visions project, he draws in and physically alters books, carrying out interventions that are dictated by a rule he creates from the title of each book. The project requires an obsessive engagement with each text, yet this attention is distanced from the intended understanding of the book’s contents. Focus rests on the book as a physical object, while the letters and words it contains are interpreted according to a new set of rules. Thiele’s edits and additions ignore the original author’s intentions, creating an alternate reading of the book’s meaning.

For the book project Keef-Wulf, Wilmer Wilson IV has taken all of the letters and punctuation from the epic poem Beowulf and used them to reconstruct lyrics by the rapper Chief Keef. Wilson’s interpretation of Chief Keef is an extended anagram of Beowulf, placed side by side with the text of the famous epic poem. Merging two texts with vastly different histories and cultural associations, Keef-Wulf infects the contemporary braggadocio of Chief Keef with the poetic boasts of the revered epic. Beyond drawing a comparison between two disparate cultural materials, Keef-Wulf cross-pollinates one with the other. Infused with the mythical old English of Beowulf, Chief Keef’s lyrics inhabit a new ground and take on new resonances.

Molly Springfield’s The Marginalia Archive constitutes an expansive exploration of the material relationship between readers and texts. Collecting photocopies of book pages that include marginalia left behind by readers, Springfield focuses in on particular markings or notes, creating graphite drawings of these details. The drawings are accompanied by binders that contain the original photocopies, presenting an extensive archive of readers’ interactions with a wide range of books. The selection of The Marginalia Archive included in the exhibition was drawn specifically from the collection of the DC Public Library. This anonymous set of marginalia highlights the printed page as a space of public dialogue. The focus is not the content of the book itself, but rather the traces left behind by the anonymous reader.

Molly Springfield lives in Washington, D.C. Her work has been shown across the United States and internationally including solo exhibitions at Galerie Thomas Zander (Cologne, Germany) and Steven Wolf Fine Arts (San Francisco) and museum exhibitions at The Drawing Center (New York); The Hafnarborg Museum (Iceland); the Indianapolis Museum of Art; The Portland Museum of Art; and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Springfield's work is included in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection. She received her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, and was a participant at Skowhegan in 2006.  

Brad Thiele is a language-based artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited across the United States and in Germany, with solo exhibitions at Studio 39, Thread Studios (Brooklyn, NY) and 1078 Gallery (Chico, CA). Thiele received his MFA from California State University, Chico, including a year studying at die Akademie für Bildende Künste in Mainz, Germany and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY.

Wilmer Wilson IV is an interdisciplinary artist working in Philadelphia, PA. He most recently performed his work Priestess Faust Walk at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and has exhibited at venues across the United States including Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Wilson is represented in public and private collections internationally. He received his BFA in photography from Howard University in 2012 and his MFA from University of Pennsylvania in 2015.