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Shifter: Waiting | Matthew Metzger and Jane Norris

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This eight-part series explores how artists, architects, historians, and theorists grapple with the condition of waiting.

About this Event

A businessperson waits for a delayed subway. A wrongly convicted prisoner awaits justice. A refugee waits for their asylum case. A nation waits for the promised boon of economic development. The world waits for a vaccine. Nature waits for its exploitation to end.

Waiting is usually what we do between things. It is the space between two destinations, an empty and anxious time to fill with distractions. But when we look more closely, we see that waiting is also an activity in itself, bristling with energy, uncertainty, and inequality. What does the condition of waiting reveal about us, our world, and the natural environment that sustains it?

This series of eight sessions offer glimpses into the thought and practices of artists, architects, historians, and theorists who grapple with this question.

In this hour-long session, Matthew Metzger will speak about guitarist Steve Lacy’s use of silences between phrases as a mode of critique, curiosity, and anticipation. Jane Norris presents recordings of the electronic pulses of plants, and asks if they are waiting for our resonances to align or for us to hear them. A brief moderated discussion and audience Q&A will follow.

This online series will use Zoom with live closed-captioning. This event is free and open to the general public. RSVP required to receive Zoom link.

For more information, contact Emily Garner at eagarner@mit.edu.

These events, and the resulting publication, Shifter 25: Waiting, are co-hosted by MIT List Visual Arts Center and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in conjunction with solo exhibitions by Sreshta Rit Premnath to be held in March 2021 (MIT List Center) and October 2021 (CAC).

About the Speakers

Matthew Metzger is an artist and educator in Chicago. He received his MFA from The University of Chicago and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Residency Program both in 2009. Metzger is Associate Professor of Studio Art at The University of Illinois at Chicago. His most recent solo exhibitions include Regards, Chicago; Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; and Arratia Beer, Berlin. Recent and forthcoming group exhibitions include Retrograde, Logan Center Exhibitions, Chicago; The Freedom Principle, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and The Works, CAB Art Center, Brussels.

Jane Norris works as a furniture designer andProgram Leader for the BA Hons 3D Design Craft at Havering College, teaching furniture and spatial design. She has exhibited objects and videos in London including: The Commonwealth Institute; East London Design Show; 152 Gallery Whitechapel open; Onedotzero – ICA, Digital Works (and co-chaired discussion) Triangle Gallery Chelsea college of Art. and nationally at: The People’s Place – Glasgow, Watershed Media Centre – Bristol, Reg Vardy Gallery – Sunderland, Norwich Arts Centre, City Gallery – Leeds, 42 Upper Street – Brighton Open and the Picker Gallery – Kingston University. She has also shown her work internationally at: Le Forum, United Nations, Geneva, RaMoMa – for the inaugural opening of the new Museum of Modern Art in Nairobi Kenya.

About Shifter

Shifter explores the intersection of contemporary art, theory, and experimental writing. They convene public dialogues and produce publications. Shifter is programmed by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.

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