Terra/Form: Cultivating A Community

November 20, 2014 – December 20, 2014.

Maps are often thought of as tangible guides to territories—concrete or abstract, philosophical or scientific, political or imaginary—but they also bring new landscapes into being. They are the physical embodiments of a set of decisions and protocols, blueprints for the act of walking, traversing the land, and a way of being. Contemporary artists, whose artistic practice incorporates walking, understand this.  Their works explore a range of questions from the arbitrary nature of national boundaries to the privatization of public space, while they present new maps for bringing new social communities into being.

Terra/Form: Cultivating A Community offers one such possibility.  Terra/Form is a group show in which artists have come together to create a metaphorical garden, a microcosm of a community they wish to see made visible in the world. On view at Clutch Gallery, Terra/Form provides an intensely personal viewing experience while also activating public conversation. As the gallery itself moves with its caretaker, each step taken during the scheduled exhibition materializes the thinking and the performance of a journey. Walking becomes an aesthetic experience and a community-building dialogue.

Just as walking symbolically reclaims land or space, so does planting and tending a garden. The artists at Clutch Gallery present a viewing experience that enacts a kind of cultural planting of seeds and setting down of roots, a simple gesture that encourages reconnecting with the earth, and with the community of other viewers and gardeners, a mobile act that conjures the preciousness of running one's fingers through the earth itself.
"When you give yourself to places, they give you yourself back; the more one comes to know them, the more one seeds them with the invisible crop of memories and associations that will be waiting for you when you come back, while new places offer up new thoughts, new possibilities." 
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Terra/Form is an exhibition organized and curated by students enrolled in Rhoda Rosen's Contemporary Cartography course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In this course, students read, write, present and walk the city exploring both object-based and more ephemeral artistic mapmaking practices while calling into question the scientific and art historical languages by which mapmaking is framed.

Featured artists: Melody Bilbo, Christen Calloway, Katherine C. Doyle, Tall Tim Llop, LaAndrea Deloyce Mitchel, Paulina Ramirez Parra, Judy Radovsky, and Landon Williams.