Earth (Em)Body

Friday January 29th, 2021

Earth (Em)Body

January 29th - March 7th

With work by: Hannah Bates, Farah Salem and Zuleyka Alejandro Velázquez

Click here to watch the Earth (Em)body Virtual Artists Talk 

The artworks presented in this exhibition began with a series of conversations among Farah Salem, Hannah Bates and Zuleyka Alejandro during their time at the Chicago-bases artist residency ACRE in rural southwest Wisconsin. Informed by their historic, cultural and professional backgrounds, the artists' work through an ecofeminist lens. Earth (Em)Body explores the intersections between non-human agents, craft processes and formations of the natural world. The exhibition includes both individual projects from the three artists, and a video installation.

There is a complex web weaving between the artist's work that resembles the mycorrhizal network underneath the forest floor. Farah Salem's distorted woven landscapes, Hannah Bates' casted bodily tree forms, Zuleyka Alejandro's accumulation of ceramic microorganisms, and the artists' eco-dreamy collaborative video exist in the space like a grouping of trees in the forest. The works resonate with one another and nourish each other in a non-hierarchical way. Earth (Em)Body utilizes this organic structure as a means to discover a more sustainable and compassionate way of moving through the world.

Farah Salem (b. 1991 Kuwait City, Kuwait) is an artist, and art therapist based in Chicago. Farah holds an MA in Art Therapy and Counseling from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her studio art and art therapy practices are bridged by social activism and research. Her studio practice is rooted in photography and expands into video, performance, fibers, and installation. Farah's artwork has been exhibited in Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, United Photo Industries, Mana Contemporary, Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait, Paris Contemporary Art Show, Centro Cultural De Santa Cruz for the Bolivia Biennale and the Katzen Arts Center at the American University Museum. Farah has also participated in various artist residencies including ACRE, Crossway Foundations Journey to Turkey and Per|Form at Contemporary Art Platform. She is currently a Radicle Studio resident at Hyde Park Art Center, and at Chicago Artist Coalition HATCH residency.

Hannah Bates (b. 1995, Cleveland, OH) is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, glass, and installation. Her work investigates the formal relationships between body and landscape in order to reveal the agency of matter within the Anthropocene. She received an MFA in the Craft/Material Studies department in Virginia Commonwealth University ('19) and a BFA in Fine Arts at Columbus College of ART and Design ('17). She was recently a resident at ACRE and chaNorth in '10, and Sculpture Space in '20. 

Zuleyka Alejandro Velázquez (b. 1988, Puerto Rico) is an artist and art educator, she holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Master Degree in Arts and Education of the University of Granada and is a Doctoral student of the University of Granada. She has worked and exhibited in Puerto Rico, United States, Spain and Taiwan. Her work ranges between the fields of painting, sculpture, ceramics and performance. Within these mediums she explores organic systems and portrays the invisible, primordial and embryonic apparatus that links all phenomena and forms.