Strike/Slip: Jennifer Mannebach, John Grod, Harold Jeffries and Stacy Isenbarger

March 11 – April 14, 2018
Guest curated by Jennifer Mannebach

Jennifer Mannebach, "At Any Rate." 25.25 x 42”

Jennifer Mannebach, “At Any Rate.” 25.25 x 42”

Curator’s Statement:

“This exhibition brings together artists with a deep interest in borders and boundaries. Words like Around, Between, Within, Delineate, Across, draw us to an edge, but more importantly, they remind us of our need to define it in reflection to our place in confronting it. We shift. The tectonic implications of Strike/Slip, where the ground shifts horizontally in an earthquake, are especially resonant in this context. Working with Harold Jeffries is particularly freighted with these concerns. Although I have worked with him professionally as a facilitator for his singular work, he is also a friend and in this case, collaborator. While the content of his work is already rich with polarities and borderlines (heaven/earth, real/imagined), there is also the circumstance of Harold’s relationship to other people in the world. The relationship between Harold, John and I as we collaborate contains thresholds that are vacillating, only becoming more legible through a longer arc of time. Since Harold’s spoken communication is often discursive and fragmented, I believe this kind of collaboration could only happen authentically within the context of our longstanding friendship and trust. In this show, Stacy Isenbarger’s sculptural assemblages, my wall pieces and the collaborative video piece will inhabit the gallery space in a way in which they can inform each other, creating new tangential relationships beyond mere iterations on a static theme.”

Stacy Isenbarger, "Boundary (Owned)," embroidery hook, fabric, string and bandage material, approx. 5' 8" x 2.5' x 10".

Stacy Isenbarger, “Boundary (Owned),” embroidery hook, fabric, string and bandage material, approx. 5′ 8″ x 2.5′ x 10″.

Stacy Isenbarger, "Boundary (Owned)," DETAIL VIEW, embroidery hook, fabric, string and bandage material, approx. 5' 8" x 2.5' x 10".

Stacy Isenbarger, “Boundary (Owned),” DETAIL VIEW, embroidery hook, fabric, string and bandage material, approx. 5′ 8″ x 2.5′ x 10″.

Harold Jeffries


About the artists:

Jennifer Mannebach:
I’ve always been interested in remnants, mistakes, awkward encounters. In past work,
I’ve explored the shifting ground of casual moments between people. The most recent
body of work explores the boundaries and architecture around, between and within
people. Inspired by city maps, honeybee navigation charts and human genome maps,
references also extend into tracking methods of larger group identities, conflating the
boundaries of the body with geographic boundaries, underscoring the inauthenticity of
maps that can never tell a complete story and the reduction of an individual to a genetic
map. A housing map of Chicago was the catalyst for Vouchers, which also references
illuminated manuscripts, a grand contrast to the important stories swept under the rug in
anonymous representations of people’s lives. In recent work, my use of paper
emphasizes these tectonic shifts in the transition between areas that are cut and
sanded, placed comfortably, and sections that are applied more in the tradition of
marquetry, revealing a seam rather than overlap.

Stacy Isenbarger:
Detached from expected presentations, my work is empowered by cultural associations
to materials, language, and iconography. Poetic intersections at play create dialectical,
contextual space for viewers to experience. As viewers perceive their place in relation to
these suggested boundaries and directives, they can reflect on their own ability to
navigate the complexities of our restrictive environments. This outside dynamic
highlights the shortcomings of labeling and dividing lines of cultural, spiritual, and
political judgment. Through this philosophically charged space, viewers are asked to
challenge their assumptions of their environment and the restrictive barriers they build
for themselves.

Harold Jeffries:
Harold’s empathy and generosity of spirit are asserted through his deep concern about
the housing needs of all people, on earth and in heaven. Harold’s drawings or
“blueprints for heaven” are designs for something yet to be built, yet paradoxically they
are mutable and in the moment. They seem constantly renewable, the desire to create
an ideal fixed home a guiding principal, perhaps to remedy the transiency of his abusive
and unstable childhood. Though physically manifested in singular drawings, these plans
are a lifelong project with no beginning, middle or end.

John Grod:
Formerly the Little City Center for the Arts Media Arts Manager, John received a degree
in fine arts from The University of Illinois at Chicago and went on to work at The Center
for New Television; a non-profit media arts center for ten years. There he conducted
workshops in video production and post-production as well as being the on-line editor
for “The 90’s”, a nationally syndicated PBS magazine style show that won numerous
awards. He has served as a freelance independent video consultant, editor and
production assistant for numerous award winning productions. In his creative use of
technology, he acts as an “enabler” – maintaining a strong commitment to educate and
counteract mainstream media’s exploitation and marginalization of those on society’s
fringes. Has won over 30 awards for media programs produced at Little City. In 2013 he
directed Share My Kingdom, which premiered at the Gene Siskel Film Center and has
been featured in various film festivals since then.