Cig Harvey: You An orchestra you a bomb
DECEMBER 7, 2017 - JANUARY 27, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 6-8PM
ARTIST TALK: SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 1-2PM
PRESS RELEASE | IMAGES
Cig Harvey’s photographs produce an overwhelming feeling of wonder, admiration, or even fear of the unknown by looking at life on the threshold between magic and disaster, for they are tiny fragments of everyday life captured in a moment of awe. Robert Mann Gallery is pleased to announce You An Orchestra You A Bomb, a new body of work by Cig Harvey. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and opens in conjunction with a newly released monograph of the same name.
You an Orchestra You a Bomb looks at the artist’s relationship with life itself. This new series continues on themes of family in Harvey's whimsical and otherworldly style, while thinking deeper about what lays ahead in a formative sensory response to how fragile the present can be. Harvey has always experienced the world viscerally, but after a traumatic event, a raw heightened awareness of the temporary nature of life permeates this new work. Through breathless moments of beauty, her images propel us to fathom the sacred in the split seconds of daily life.
In today’s culture it seems that awe inspiring moments can be overlooked and often forgotten in the fast-paced realities of the modern world. Harvey shows us it is time to seek out moments that create goosebumps and find a sign that we’re in the presence of something extraordinary, even in the everyday. Blizzard on Main Street captures a beautifully serene and calm winter wonderland menaced by the impending disturbance of blinding car lights trampling through the blanketed landscape. The vibrant colors of taxidermic Birds of New England found in a thrift store come to life in a flurry of wings and tails, while guarding the gazing eye that hides behind them. A young girl contemplating the darkness in the forest beyond as the Magnolia Tree she rests against blooms snow white flowers that threaten to fly away with a single gust of wind. Harvey’s photographs are poetic moments that are part memoir, part poetry and part love letter to her family.
Cig Harvey's work is included in permanent collections of major institutions including, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; and the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Harvey has published three monographs, the first two sold out in all printings, You Look At Me Like An Emergency (Schilt Publishing, 2012), which was accompanied by a solo museum show at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway in Spring 2012 and Gardening at Night (Schilt Publishing, 2015.) Her third monograph, You An Orchestra You A Bomb will be released December 2017 by Schilt Publishing. The artist lives and works in rural Maine.
Images: Blizzard on Main Street, 2017, Birds of New England, 2017, Magnolia Tree, 2017
NEW YORK TIMES: LENS BLOG
FAIRYTALE PHOTOS OF EVERYDAY LIFE
BY JONATHAN BLAUSTEIN
"Ask anyone who’s been in a serious car accident, and they’ll swear that reality moves in slow motion as metal crumples, glass shatters and bones break.
That kind of event can change one’s perspective, and for the photographer Cig Harvey, her brush with vehicular death in 2015 inspired her new series “You an Orchestra You a Bomb,” recently released by Schilt Publishing, which also opens as a solo exhibition at Robert Mann in New York on December 7. With its strong emphasis on evocative color and objects culled from the natural world, the project touches upon magic, mystery and fairy tales. One easily imagines Narnia just through the wardrobe door or Hogwarts awaiting at the end of the train ride. (Surprisingly, Ms. Harvey, who was born in England, has never read the Harry Potter books.)
As is her custom, the series features Ms. Harvey’s six-year-old daughter, Scout, along with other relatives and friends. And the narrative is clearly propelled by the motivations of a mother, one enraptured by life after a near-death experience."
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SPARKLERS AND SNOW IN MAINE
"Her highly personal pictures use her family as subjects to create extraordinary images. The poetic representations focus on colour and light, and often use the snowy Maine winters as a background.
Writer Jacoba Urist says that each photograph "captures the tiniest fragments in everyday life that make our breath convulse - that sharp, spontaneous inhale in our chest when we encounter something divine".
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YOU AN ORCHESTRA YOU A BOMB BY CIG HARVEY
BY ELIZA WILLIAMS
Inspired in part by her reaction to a car crash, photographer Cig Harvey’s new book examines time, relationships and why we should embrace life’s “boring Tuesdays”. We talk to her about how she creates her work.
“That accident could have happened to me ten years before and I’d have probably just moved immediately on, whereas I think as you get older, mortality becomes more present. I have a child now, that weighs on your mind more than I think in your 20s, when you’re just perhaps concerned with a different set of thoughts.”
Cig Harvey is discussing the car accident she had two years ago, which prompted her to begin her third photo book, You An Orchestra You A Bomb, which has just been published. Harvey was ‘t-boned’ – another car drove into her side as she went through a green light. Luckily, she emerged unscathed, though the incident weighed upon her mentally.
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5 to See: This Weekend
Cig Harvey: You An Orchestra You A Bomb, Robert Mann Gallery, New York
Appearing in the current issue of Aesthetica Magazine, Harvey pays attention to the fragile present. Each vignette captures moments of awe, resting in the threshold between bewitchment and disaster. Each image nestles within split seconds where beauty mingles alongside an arresting sense of danger – dripping with sensory information and visceral consideration. Until 27 January.