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Art January, 18 2011

Shary Boyle & Emily Duke The Illuminations Project

New at ICA Philadelphia, Shary Boyle & Emily Duke: The Illuminations Project.

Looking for an alternative to the convention in which images illustrate texts and texts explicate images, Shary Boyle and Emily Duke developed a looser, more associative method of combining words and pictures. The Illuminations Project is a series of 33 drawings and text pairs generated through long distance correspondence between 2003 and 2010. This exhibition displays 15 of the diptychs. Half of Boyle’s drawings were developed in response to Duke’s poems, and vice versa. In both cases, the responding artist used the other’s work as a point of departure rather than a directive. As a result, the project contains both narrative and more ambient pieces, exploring a violent and misogynistic world through two central characters—Bloodie and Peg-Leg. Privileging neither female nor male, nature nor culture, animal nor human, Boyle and Duke consider a wide range of issues, situations, and contexts, producing a series that presents a dark feminist take on affect and politics.

This exhibition is the first public presentation of the work and will remain on view through March 20, 2011.

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