B. Ingrid Olson: Cast of Mind


i8 Grandi is pleased to announce Cast of Mind, a year-long exhibition by B. Ingrid Olson. The artists show opens 20 January, 2023 and will be on view until 20 December 2023. Spanning far longer than traditional museum or gallery shows, i8 Grandi represents a new model for exhibitions. The programming focuses on concepts of space and time, and the presentations will evolve while on view. The sustained duration of the annual format allows artists to consider how time affects their work, and the fluidity encourages audiences to revisit the changing installations.


Cast of mind” is a phrase describing the way that a person might perceive something due to a certain disposition, ingrained beliefs, or even as a more temporary mood or outlook. While the expression succinctly encapsulates the idea of subjective perception, its component words might also poetically suggest making a permanent record of the act of thinking. Forming a hard copy out of something as slippery as thought is a fitting lens through which to view an exhibition that by its very invitation must be subject to change. How might cognition, decision-making, memory, or instinct be evidenced?


For Olson, the evidence is on the move. In Cast of Mind, new and existing artworks will combine variously throughout the year, testing approaches to vision and visibility, doubling and mirroring, androgynous and gendered forms, reciprocities between photography and sculpture, and the ways that the artists body and each viewers body relate to the built environment. The works will be rearranged and changed frequently, rehearsing connections and capacities as the site of production and display collapse in on one another. 


Olson has chosen to approach the two rooms of Grandi as distinct-but-connected spaces, like a proscenium and a stage, or like the transition from mouth to stomach. The gallery just inside the entryway will serve as an introduction, a preliminary encounter to calibrate expectations and sensation. A large structure akin to a worktable, titled Total Work (Cast of Mind), 2023, will occupy the majority of the floor area in this first room, establishing a narrowed path around its perimeter. The table-cum-sculpture will be a constant presence during the exhibition, holding shifting configurations of artworks, as well as books selected by the artist.


The second room, with its exaggeratedly tall 7 meter ceiling, will function as the main stage for activity. Olsons interventions will accentuate and attenuate the dramatic proportions of the architecture with incisive gestures related to the wall treatment, lighting, and temporary structures that condition the experience of the space. The opening iteration of the exhibition will feature an installation of modified antique light fixtures, What I would be if I wasn’t what I am, I, I, n.d, which will be suspended far from the ceiling to create a second false-ceiling, bisecting the expansive height of the gallery. Proximately illuminated by the low-hanging lights, the artworks on the walls and floor will come and go: interchanging, interjecting and trailing off. 


Like a word leaving one sentence and entering another—its meaning slightly modified and carrying a different tone in a different context—elements, materials and gestures will be pushed and pulled as they slip in and out of their situations. The ensemble of artworks will be altered, not all at once, but each work moving in its own time. The many permutations of Cast of Mind will present a maze of networked thoughts that model an artistic practice as a living thing, not meant to be stabilized.


B. Ingrid Olson (b. 1987) lives and works in Chicago. Solo museum exhibitions of her work have been held at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University; Vienna Secession; and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Her work was also featured in a two-person exhibition at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Olson has participated in group exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Aspen Art Museum; and The Museum of Modern Art.