At Play in the Fields of the Lords
A “choose-your-own-adventure” story
In a departure from her performance pieces, such as last year’s Tropic of Gemini, Kirstin Mitchell offers the installation At Play in the Fields of the Lords, which situates three different focal points into a kinetically charged tableau. An acrylic coral gradient on canvas (field) hangs facing a rubber mat draped over chrome bars extended from the ceiling (play), with the edge of the mat just touching a chunk of weathered dock foam (lord).
At Play in the Fields of the Lords provides a glimpse into what Mitchell refers to as a “choose-your-own-adventure” story: a mutable arrangement of objects signifying the artist at work, or rather, at play. The resulting installation is possibly the most gestural work in the show, yet the abstracted bodily presence provides a stimulating contrast with the nearby toiling physicality of (the other two artists). – Burnaway
At Play in the Fields of the Lords plays with the fields usually lorded over by traditional masculinity.
At Play in the Fields of the Lords plays with the fields usually lorded over by traditional masculinity. The viewer’s attempt to gaze at the sensuous color-field painting is interrupted by a sculptural black material with both industrial and erotic associations. The self-important assertiveness of traditional sculpture is represented and undermined by a form that turns out to be no more than a broken chunk of foam once composing part of a dock.
The possible relationships between the three terms of play, field, and lord convey multiple and contradictory meanings, and this itself is a play that undoes the lords who insist the fields all belong to them. This playful displacement of power is utterly serious about the subtle questions of how to find new ways to re-interpret and re-experience a world that has been falsely defined and divided up by traditional economics and traditional politics. – Jerry Cullum
Parallel Play is a group show curated by Candice Greathouse and Curtis Ames.