B. Ingrid Olson: History Mother: The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

21 July - 23 December 2022 

i8 Gallery is pleased to announce two simultaneous solo exhibitions by artist B. Ingrid Olson: History Mother and Little Sister, each on a separate floor of the Center’s landmark Le Corbusier building. The exhibitions feature site-specific installations informed by a feminist engagement with experiences of doubling and mirroring, gendered forms, reciprocity between photography and sculpture, and ways the artist’s body and each viewer’s body relate to the built environment.

In History Mother, Olson's photographic works from the past decade join new works, together articulating how the artist uses her own body as subject matter—bent knees, limbs, hands, and feet press up against mirrors and photographic surfaces, confusing points of contact between the figure and the picture plane—as well as the archival impulse that runs through her practice, with collections of objects, images, and gestures often gathered, repeated, and rhymed across the assembled works. 

Meanwhile, Little Sister, debuts an ambitious suite of new sculptures scaled to the building’s spaces, surfaces, and forms, and in critical conversation with its affects and ideological origins. In a variety of media, Olson distorts, inverts, repurposes, and frustrates the functions and metaphors of architectural elements, such as doors, windows, vestibules, light fixtures, and corridors. Sculptural details that suggest bodily anatomy and partially concealed photographs and ceramic sculptures join industrial materials and construction techniques in structures that populate Level 1’s indoor and outdoor gallery and public spaces.

Olson’s first monograph will be published to accompany the presentation and will be available in October 2022. The innovative book design brings together extensive documentation of the site-specific installation, diagrammatic sketches, and reproductions of works made over the last decade, putting them into conversation with a selection of poetry and criticism that inform Olson’s practice. 


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