That’s Why I’m Here

That’s Why I’m Here

Curated by: Meaghan Kent
Artists: Kyle Bauer, Cynthia Connolly, Elizabeth Huey, Kim Llerena, and Jordan Rathus
Exhibition:March 22 – May 5, 2018
Opening:March 22, 5-7 PM
Artist Talk with Jordan Rathus: March 22, 1 PM

Press: Jenkins, Mark, “In the Galleries: That’s Why I’m Here,” The Washington Post, April 27, 2018

The newly dedicated Cody Gallery at Marymount University is pleased to present “That’s Why I’m Here” with Kyle Bauer, Cynthia Connolly, Elizabeth Huey, Kim Llerena, and Jordan Rathus.  The exhibition considers location and landscape as an impetus in creating work and questions our sense of placement within the grander scheme of space. Bittersweet, melancholic moments run throughout the exhibition as one discovers that within these moments of reorientation we can find perspective, humility and humor.

The title is derived from the video work of Jordan Rathus (Bronx, NY) in which the artist travels to artist residencies in Stavanger, Norway; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Catskill, NY. Shifting between various locations, the artist experiences different lifestyles and professions from the past in a quest for an alternative life. The video reads like a farcical travelogue as it reveals discovery and loss through cultural identification and experimentation.

Like the piece by Rathus, other works in the exhibition are marked by experiences made from the environment, both real and imaginary. Kim Llerena’s (Washington DC) new series of “Happy Accidents” are photographic takes of created landscapes set before a sublime space in a chance happening. “Knee High by the 4th of July” by Kyle Bauer(Baltimore, MD) is reflective of the extensive car trips starting from his youth where he would “slip into a subconscious state watching the rows in the field “chatter” like frames of a movie.” The Minimilist white sculpture is installed so the husk forms are both at eye level and the level to which corn is at its peak. Elizabeth Huey’s (Los Angeles, CA) richly colored paintings are psychologically charged social and active settings. Each tableaux explores the division between interior and exterior consciousness as her figures are often immersed in scenes of rehabilitation and recreation. Lastly, Cynthia Connolly (Arlington, VA) handmade mixed media letterpressed book made in the late 90s folds out into a series of images taken of trucks moving from East to West. Using a film camera from the drivers’ seat, Connolly photographed the trucks going in the opposite direction. Starting in the West, you see the wide-open spaces and trucks from a distance, as she drives East, the trucks move in closer as the highways become more condensed.

The exhibition is curated by Meaghan Kent.

Cody Gallery of Marymount University is located at 1000 North Glebe Road, 2nd Floor. The gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday, 1-6pm and by appointment. Street parking and Capital Bikeshare are available. The gallery is located near the Metroline Orange: Ballston-MU. Email for further information.

photo (top): Image from “Happy Accidents” by Kim Llerena, Mesa Verde National Park, CO (Cruise America), 2017

Exhibition images photo credit: Kim Llerena