In the Annex @ Spudnik Press
Emerging from recurring conversations about access, authenticity and authorship, artists Ashley Freeby and Jesse Meredith make artwork around and through one another’s experiences, from outside of their own cultural backgrounds. Over the course of a year, they have worked in one another’s studios, traded primary research sources and conducted a series of structured conversations about their own personal experiences. Non-Constants presents recent work that has stemmed from this exchange.
Many of their collaborative artworks address racialized experiences in the United States and transpose them with survivalism and defensive preparation. Using a technique of doubling, one artist produces a piece through synthesis of conversations and research, and the other re-makes it, displacing its context.
At a time of polarization and broken lines of communication, Non-Constants asks viewers to consider the impact of their own presence in the environments they inhabit, to reclaim permission to be inquisitive and open, and think outside of individualized experiences.
About the Artists:
Ashley M. Freeby (b. 1986, rural Pennsylvania) is a multidisciplinary artist whose incisive exploration of American history builds a critical examination through found sources to reveal how the history of injustices against people of color inform our understanding of society today. Recent solo exhibitions, Unjustified Patterns, Kanzlei, Berlin Germany and Palimpsest: present through past, GalleryX, Chicago. In addition, she has participated in group exhibitions in Canada, Chicago and Pennsylvania. Freeby is a 2019 HATCH Projects resident at Chicago Artist Coalition, received An Artist Opportunity Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center and participated in a residency at Institut für Alles Mögliche, Berlin, Germany. She received a MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2018 and a BA from Bucknell University 2015.
Jesse Meredith is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography, sculpture, text and video to undermine power structures and complicate simplified narratives of belonging. Born in New York City (1987), he grew up splitting his time between rural Gilboa, New York and Brooklyn. Recent solo and group Exhibitions include Reckless Comfort, Extase Chicago, Do You Fear For Your Life, 062, Chicago, and 2,3,4: Dimensional Photographies, Ohio University Seigfred Art Gallery. He was awarded the 2018 James Weinstein memorial fellowship and is currently a Field/Work artist in residence at the Chicago Artist Coalition. He has also exhibited in, New York, Philadelphia, and Buenos Aires. He currently lives and works in Chicago. He received a BFA from SUNY Purchase (2009) and an MFA from SAIC (2018).
Image: Ashley Freeby & Jesse Meredith, And What Are We Up To This Evening?, 2018, graphite, acrylic, digital collage, 14″ x 28″