Lee Blalock: Neue

Gallery 5 & Screening Room

How will the human body adapt and evolve in the wake of technological advances? Artist Lee Blalock speculates on the progression of the evolving body through her drawings, video, sculpture and sound work presented in her first solo exhibition, Neue, which explores the mechanics of prosthetics, and how rhythm and movement can be interpreted through body amplification and prosthetics.

Building from her personal history, an obsession with rules and order, and a love of Speculative Fiction, Blalock creates a new series of art work that documents and hypothesizes a process of the future superbody and its daily operations. Her works on paper combine computer code, geometric diagrams, and organic hand-drawn gestures to render the imagined figure. Repetition, duplication, and looping of sounds, shapes, and typographic characters are techniques she uses to enliven the work with a mechanical pulse. Far from a modern day Frankenstein, but not quite the bionic woman, the bodies Blalock creates absorb the digital into the corporeal, and question the possibility of a body without race, gender, or biological deficiency.

The exhibition Neue will also debut a site-specific performance by the artist. Blalock’s performances combine her training in martial arts and contemporary dance, and often activate her sculptures and installation. Her performance at the Art Center will explore what a new movement vocabulary might be for a body with sculptural appendages that entail certain limitations and enhancements.

Lee Blalock is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist exploring the possibilities of a post-human and post-gendered world. Through her work, she aims to describe and reimagine the 'amplified' human, destroying the existing framework of identity and replacing it with the re-engineered body. For the past five years, Blalock’s work has shown internationally, including in Toronto and Korea. She is a recipient of the Archibald Motley Award and a Clare Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize finalist. Originally from Chester, PA, she received a BS from Spelman College and a MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she currently teaches digital art, core studio, new media, and research topics.

The Art Center’s exhibitions are open daily and admission is always free.

Image: Lee Blalock, ctrlr.H.rt #116, 2013, resin, music box movement, acrylic, 4 x 12 ¼ x 6 ¼ inches