Between the Real & Utopia


installation from “Between the Real and Utopia” SITE Galleries Chicago, 2017

“Path of Totality”, digital drawing of eclipse on silk flag, 40″x 60″, 2017

“Gravity-Bound Exploration” performance and video 2017

2 videos installed: “Big Bang Birth” and “Mothering Earth”

detail of mobile – aluminum and photographs, set in motion using 2 small office fans

3 videos related to the process of rearing, and perhaps preparing them for exploration

Murphy’s selected works from 2015-2017 which came together in an exhibition and series of events and performances curated by Jameson Paige at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017

Between the Real and Utopia

Artists: Mev Luna, Marcela Torres, Michael Vincent Pusey, Michelle Murphy, and ⊖ (Willy Smart and Misael Soto)

Between the Real and Utopia is an exhibition centering performance practices that investigates the process of “getting there.” The position of being between two temporalities–the real and a utopia–indicates a notion of flux, and on favorable occasion, progression. Perpetually marked by temporality, performance practices glimpse how new ways of seeing, being, and doing are enacted, making them a suitable metaphor for what characterizes the in between. Though a group show, the exhibition format cycles through a series of smaller artist projects–individual and collaborative–conjoining the temporally-bound nature of performance with a curatorial platform that performs in tandem with the artists. Each iterative project occurs over a week, staging performances, programs, and activations in conjunction with its installation, pointing to the potentialities of utopia’s reverberation back into the real.

Michelle Murphy takes on the codified archetype of the space explorer–cis, white, heterosexual, and male–by both revising and proposing new histories. Seeing outer-space as a frontier to enact new possibilities of the human, she points to who has been left out or denied entry to its potential. The complexities of labor (physical, emotional, maternal, etc.), bodily representation, and public intimacy are brought to light as much as they are reconstituted.

-Jameson Paige, curator