Nazafarin Lotfi and Mike Gibisser at Tony Wight Gallery

Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago

February 29, 2012

Nazafarin Lotfi

Mike Gibisser
The Motive Power Series

2 March–14 April 2012

Friday, 2 March, 6–8 pm

Tony Wight Gallery
845 West Washington Blvd.
Chicago IL 60607
Tuesday–Saturday 11 am–5 pm

Tony Wight Gallery is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions, Circles by Nazafarin Lotfi and The Motive Power Series by Mike Gibisser.

Nazafarin Lotfi
“The new continents are built out of the ruins of an old planet….”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

Tony Wight Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of work by Nazafarin Lotfi. The exhibition includes recent paintings, sculptures and drawings. Lotfi’s most recent work employs a minimized color palette and uses everyday structural materials, such as staples, fishing line, vinyl, and fencing. Her materials often do double-duty: a metal utility fence used as a stencil for spray painting will also become the support for a free-standing sculpture. In her process, even finished works can become the basis for another painting or sculpture. As Lotfi described, “Paintings are the world for the sculpture to exist in.”

Lotfi previously embedded narrative into her objects, but more recently she has been working in the opposite way, pushing her surfaces and objects until they let go of their stories. From her earlier study of architecture, she has a continued interest in doorways and passageways as markers of distance. These spaces are invitations towards an unknown and their position is evident in the transitivity of her materials, mediums, and processes, where one begins to behave like another.

Nazafarin Lotfi (Iranian, b. 1984) received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her BA from the University of Tehran in 2007. Lotfi’s work has been included in group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including South Korea, Hungary, and Iran. Recent exhibitions include Cloud Gate at Monya Rowe Gallery, New York, NY; Untitled Document at Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago, IL; In Between at Autumn Space, Chicago, IL; Faux-Cult at NoGlobe, Brooklyn, NY; Into the Surface at Brand New Gallery, Milan; and The Question of Their Content at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago.

Mike Gibisser
The Motive Power Series

The Motive Power series is comprised of four films, each confined to a single street address, each a meditation on one of the thermodynamic laws. Viewed together, the films become chapters in an extended rumination on the metaphors embedded in the laws, or those that gave rise to the laws in the first place. Gibisser has described the series as “movies made of still images,” where focus held on details like two clocks with second hands just out of synch, or a curtained window frame conveys inquiry into both the properties of the physical laws and the image properties of 16mm film. Formally these films are as much about sound as they are about image, from the Third Law chapter’s acute manipulation of the sound of cicadas, to the playful use of a film clapboard in the final chapter for the Zeroeth Law. Parts historical essay, parts personal documentary, and parts lyrical expression, the films put pressure on the points where spiritualism bleeds into science, and affect invades empiricism.

Sections of The Motive Power Series have screened at the New York Film Festival and the Chicago Underground Film Festival, where Gibisser received Honorable Mention for Second Law: S. Leh St. This is the first public showing of the entire series in Chicago.

The films have a combined duration of 50 minutes, and will be screening at the gallery on the hour from 11–4 pm daily.

Mike Gibisser (b. 1981) lives and makes films in Chicago largely about people who do not. His films navigate the indefinite lines between essay, experimental, and documentary work, often drawing together disparate subjects or time periods. He received his MFA in Moving Image from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011, and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute in 2009.