Michael Robinson’s CIRCLE SPECTRE PAPER FLAME, Opening Saturday, April 6th, Carrie Secrist Gallery, CHICAGO

untitled (suns) / 2013 / archival pigment print / 48 x 32 & 3/5 inches

untitled (suns) / 2013 / archival pigment print / 48 x 32 & 3/5 inches

MICHAEL ROBINSON
CIRCLE SPECTRE PAPER FLAME
Carrie Secrist Gallery
835 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL, 60607 (map)
APRIL 6 – MAY 11, 2013

This Saturday, Michael Robinson‘s “Circle Spectre Paper Flame” solo exhibition opens at the Carrie Secrist Gallery here in Chicago. The show includes a new series of collages and photographs, and an installation of Robinson’s new film Circle In The Sand, which will screen hourly for the run of the exhibition. I recently saw Circle In The Sand at the 51st Ann Arbor Film Festival, and it certainly was one of my favorites, a true otherworldly vision. If you’re in Chicago, don’t miss the opportunity to tune in and drop out.


“ In his first solo exhibition with Carrie Secrist Gallery, Michael Robinson presents a new body of photo and collage work together with the film Circle in the Sand (2012). Layering and reassembling leftovers of culture, the artist creates contemporary venues for spiritual exchange and transformation. The resulting pictures hum subtly, revealing new meanings.

In the main space, Robinson exhibits new photographs offering a magical interpretation of landscape. Using basic light manipulation, Robinson captures subjects such as forest mushrooms and moonlight cast on a book page. Communicating an oblique narrative, his eerily pleasing images capture the potential for transcendence in the mundane.

Alongside the photographs, Robinson shows new collage work. In each mixed media piece, central halo forms frantically explode across found photographic backgrounds. The backgrounds act as photographic representations or readymade additions to the disseminated montage of deities in each foreground. Robinson mines sources as varied as fruit tree diseases and 1980s computer graphics to generate his otherworldly scenes.

In the second gallery, Robinson screens Circle in the Sand (2012). Set in a post-apocalyptic near future, the 45-minute film follows a band of listless vagabonds ambling across a war-torn coastal territory. Rummaging, stuttering, and smashing through the scraps of Western culture, this group of ragged souls conjures an unstable magic fueled by their own apathy and the poisonous histories imbedded in their unearthed junk.

Circle in the Sand screened previously at the New York Film Festival (2012) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2013); the film will project hourly at the Carrie Secrist Gallery during its Chicago debut.

Past exhibitions and screenings for Michael Robinson (American, b. 1981) include the 2012 Whitney Biennial, Walker Art Center, MoMA P.S.1, London Film Festival, REDCAT Los Angeles, Sundance Film Festival, Tate Modern, San Francisco International Film Festival, and Hong Kong International Film Festival. Honors include a Kazuko Trust Award (2012), a Creative Capital Grant (2012), and a 2011-2012 Film/Video Residency Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Michael Robinson: Circle Spectre Paper Flame will be on view through May 11, 2013. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 10:30 to 6 and Saturday 11 to 5 or by appointment. ”

Other notable events:

  • April 6 from 5 to 8 PM: Opening Reception at Carrie Secrist Gallery
  • May 1 at 6 PM: Michael Robinson curates Video Playlist at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago, 600 S. Michigan Ave., 312.663.5554
  • May 3 at 8 PM: Michael Robinson screens recent short film at The NIGHTINGALE, 1084 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

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