Babel Unbound

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Babel Unbound
17 June – 8 July 2017

Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban

Babel Unbound is a multi-disciplinary exhibition by Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban, which is taking place in CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery in Cork City from 17 June – 8 July 2017.

The exhibition presents a new body of work that focuses on ephemeral editions, prints and printed multiples within the context of the library as a curated and performed space.

Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban are artist collaborators from Austin, Texas. They are participating in Cork Printmakers’ International Visiting Artist Residency programme, which is intended to provide opportunities for artists to research and develop their own practice, to explore ideas in a new environment and to improve international networks.

Babel Unbound is also part of a trail of shows accompanying the FIRST EDITION Print Symposium, initiated by Cork Printmakers and presented as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2017. Jason and Leslie will be presenting at the symposium on 23 June in Cork City Hall.

A series of printed works, risographs, xeroxes and screenprints become a publication pulled apart, ephemeral and in-flux, lining walls of the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery. Photographs, 3D printed objects and large-scale digital prints break up the monotony of the splayed publication and help to loosely connect pieces of text, re-paginated essays, screen-captured images, and scans of book spreads. The gallery becomes a circular space without hierarchy; with no beginning and no end – babel unbound.

Referencing a series of historical works intertwined with the function and performance of the library, such as Aby Warburg’s Atlas Mnemosyne, Borges’ The Library of Babel, and Walter Benjamin’s Unpacking my Library, the artists contemplate the library of today- one filtered through reproducibility, access to information and an ever-evolving understanding of curation, aesthetics and the archive. The library is a fertile place for exploration, a place that most often prioritizes use over display whereas the gallery is a site that prioritizes display over functionality. Babel Unbound attempts to do both; and while doing so slowly becomes aware of itself, as illegible, complicated, incomplete…

Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban are artist collaborators who use a broad array of printed matter and methods as a point of reference to explore issues of authenticity, ephemerality, craft, and “the theater of making.” In addition to active solo exhibition records, the pair has shown their collaborative research-based installations in venues such as International Print Center New York (New York, NY, USA), Artist Image Resource (Pittsburgh, PA, USA), Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia, PA, USA), and Atelier Circulaire (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Based in Austin, TX, they teach in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.