Babies and Borders
Cherisse Gray at Murmurs.
Murmurs began making waves on my radar this Summer, initially with their strong group exhibition featuring Genevieve Belleveau, Joel Dean, Lesley Jackson, Jenine Marsh, Jack Schneider and Alison Veit, and since with their astute and integrated programming (most recently a dinner hosted and presented by Albert Samreth, and an impressive fundraiser for activist and organizer Emily Barker).
I first made it to Murmurs this past weekend for Cherisse Gray’s solo exhibition, Hello Baby, Terroir. Made up of several major structures, this exhibition centers on environment and territory. The central structure contains personally selected objects, which may only be viewed from the black and white screens of the baby monitors on the wall behind said structure. The unit itself is quite doorless, bar the opening prohibitively placed on the ceiling. Raising base questions of entry and access, viewers are initially thrust into an ‘outside’ space from which to explore the other objects. We are then similarly faced with white wrought-iron bars, not uncommon to those of us who live in Los Angeles. Those that are typically placed on the outside of windows rearticulate that we are not privy.
Utilizing a clinical aestheticism and a language of borders (TSA bins, US passports) one inhabits, if only momentarily, the experience of the Othered. This inverse outdoor/indoor negotiation is curatorially complimented by the physicality of Murmurs, which inhabits both indoor and outdoor realms.
It is notable from the attendees that founders Allison Littrell and Morgan Elder are active participants in their community, as many fellow notable artists were present in supporting Cherisse.