“Gallery with Words”

Solo Exhibition: Ben Morgan-Cleveland
Opening reception: Friday, March 22nd (7-9)
March 22nd - April 28th

Text by Nora Schultz:

My proposal to the gallery with words is called "traveling words," and in case it can be realized, it will be a traveling show. 

I'm in the forest of words, finding all these words that are there. 

In fact, this is a proposal for public speech training. 

A word flies around en route in search of others, and travels through its own eye. 

Some words get caught up in the branches of vague areas. 

The words add up, and the words count down.

A word's eyes are very special. We don't know anything about them yet, but there are highly professional laboratories researching the eyes of the jumping spider, because it has eight pairs of eyes, and 900 degrees of view, enabling quick and precise jump in flight or attack. When asked about the aim and utility of this research, a researcher replies, "Nothing. We just want to understand them." 

She throws around a lot of words about the abilities, potentials, limitations, and so forth about capturing reality, and then expands her response to include an anecdote about Antonioni in the Sahara, the Chadian Civil War, the overwhelming of film by light, and so forth. She describes the first scene of Professione: Reporter. Jack Nicholson, the reporter, trying to conduct an interview in a wide, sandy desert. But it falls apart, his Jeep gets sanded, and the film is over for the reporter. 

 "Did you know Antonioni shot on cheap film that was too sensitive for the light? to visualize the reporter's view?"

When I wanted to include this in my proposal, all I found was some rapturous praise about the colors and a partial analysis of Jack Nicholson. 

Finally, from an interview with Antonioni about Professione: reporter  (The Passenger):

Reporter: What about the sequence where Nicholson is isolated in the desert? The desert is especially striking, and the color is unusually intense and burning. Did you use any special filters or forced processing to create this effect?

MA: The color is the color of the desert. We used a filter, but not to alter it: on the contrary in order not to alter it. The exact warmness of the color was obtained in the laboratory by the usual processes. 

Reporter: How close do you work with your cinematographer? 

MA: Who is the cinematographer? We don't have this character in Italy. 

Imagine shaking a sand hand. For a word, that's a real handstand. 

Would you say, this is a collage? 

This is what I love most about my job. Would you think, this is my job?


A copy (1).jpg

(image): Ben Morgan-Cleveland, "A" C-print mounted to cintra, 18" x 39" unframed, 2019, unique.

Addendum:

Gallery With Words will be Ben Morgan-Cleveland's first solo exhibition at Kai Matsumiya. The exhibition consists solely of photographs of word sculptures he constructed from branches and fallen down tree trunks along secluded walking paths of Prospect Park. All photographs have been taken using a 35 mm pinhole camera he constructed for this purpose.

There will be a book launch celebrating this exhibition April 27th.  The book, designed in collaboration with Eric Wrenn Office Inc, will include the photographs in the exhibition as well as many not on view.

Morgan-Cleveland previously has had solo exhibitions with Eli Ping, Eli Ping Frances Perkins and Real Fine Arts. He has been in two-person shows and/or group shows at Kai Matsumiya, Shoot the Lobster, Doyers, 15 Orient, Goethe Institute, Greene Naftali, James Fuentes, Kate Werble, JTT, Real Fine Arts, Kavita B Schmidt and The Emily Harvey Foundation among others. Additionally he cofounded and ran Real Fine Arts, with Tyler Dobson, from 2008 - 2018.

Nora Schultz is an artist who lives and works in Alston, MA.