MURRMUR: BLURS AND SENSES
MURRMUR: Blurs and Senses is the second iteration of Misread Unread Read Re-Read Misread Unread Re-Read (MURRMUR), a research framework and exhibition series that expands how we think about reading, publishing, and distributing art and ideas. This Spring 2024 reprise of the series asks: What drives our impulse to discard? What drives our desire to keep? How do the traces of what no longer remains affect our experience of the present?
MURRMUR: Blurs and Senses unfolds these queries through an exhibition in True F. Luck Gallery that opens up traditional processes of publishing and curating. Participating artists, designers, writers, and publishers include Lauren Francescone, James Hannaham, Zeynab Izadyar, and ssSssssssssss (a study-friendship between Ashkan Sepahvand and virgil b/g taylor).
Each newly commissioned work deals with the impulse to scavenge, collect, and preserve scraps of different kinds, from the material to the conceptual. Such remnants range from newspaper headlines that inspire dread and hilarity in equal measure (Hannaham), to scattering as material and diasporic fantasies of gift exchange and formal reception (ssSssssssssss), to pieces of clay forged by notions of time, waiting, and phantom connections (Francescone), to found iconography and verbal expressions that inspire new forms (Izadyar). These foraged words, materials, and designs find their way into newly created videos, prints, ceramics, textile installations, texts, and performances. Together, they will transform True F. Luck Gallery into a space for considering marginalia, peripheries, and neglected details.
MURRMUR: Blurs and Senses is organized by ICA Assistant Curator of Commerce + Publications, Egbert Vongmalaithong.
The exhibition’s presentation at the ICA at VCU is made possible by generous support from
The Monument Group
Mrs. True G. Harrigan and Mr. John W. Collier III
Margo Ann Crutchfield and Kevin Concannon
Ms. Suzanne D. Hall and Mr. Joseph G. Willis
Lauren Francescone (b. 1983, New York City) lives and works in Montreal. She is co-founder of the video screening series Video Snack and founder of Temperatures, an occasional publication about contemporary ceramics. Her work has been shown at Cue Art Foundation, Recess, and Vox Populi, among others. She has attended residencies at the Banff Centre, the Vermont Studio Center, the European Ceramic Workcentre, Anderson Ranch Art Center, and Penland School of Craft. She received a BS from the University of Virginia School of Architecture and an MFA from the Yale University School of Art.
James Hannaham is a writer, a visual artist, or both. His novel Delicious Foods won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book. He has shown work at Open Source Gallery, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and won Best in Show at Main Street Arts’ 2020 exhibit Biblio Spectaculum. In 2021 he released Pilot Impostor, a multigenre book inspired by an anthology of Fernando Pessoa’s poetry. His third novel, Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta, won the Ferro-Grumley Award from the Publishing Triangle and garnered him a second Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, was a Kirkus Best Book of 2022, an LA Times Book Prize Finalist, and also a New York Times Notable Book. John Irving, writing in the Times Book Review, called it “wondrous;” the Financial Times praised the novel’s “unrelentingly vulgar language.” He was awarded a 2023 Guggenheim grant, thereby losing the ability to complain about pretty much anything.
Zeynab Izadyar, born in 1984 in Iran, initially trained as a graphic designer, has transitioned into textiles. VVORK VVORK VVORK started in 2017, with its custom collection of slow-made, one-of-a-kind pieces; Wearable Landscapes: Wear a Mountain, Carry a Sun. Made with a combination of found materials, collected words, and unorthodox freehand embroidered drawing, weaving abstract narratives steeped in the collective memory of a culture. Each piece gets a unique title that carries the surreal story of the moment in which the scenery was crystallized.
Ashkan Sepahvand is an artist, writer, and researcher. He was born in Tehran, Iran, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lives and works mostly in Berlin, Germany. His practice takes time. An interest in words and bodies shapes his inquiries. Projects take the form of performances, publications, and regular collaboration with friends. Together with Natascha Sadr Haghighian, they founded the institute for incongruous translation, a framework for their shared studies. He is one half of ssssSssssssss, a study-friendship with virgil b/g taylor.
virgil b/g taylor is an artist from without. he works in materials intended to convey information, with subject matter ranging from exclusion to displacement. he makes fag tips, an online speculative zine and is one part of ssssssssssSss with Ashkan Sepahvand.