Elijah Wheat Showroom is pleased to present a solo exhibition of manipulated chromogenic photographs by Kathryn Refi. Entitled Protean Boundaries, the exhibition opens on March 2nd from 6pm-9pm and runs through March 31st.
Refi’s work examines the underlying framework of the grid, which in her own words is “emblematic of reason, the scientific method and objectivity.” The life of a grid is hard-edged, definitive and static, present at the macro level of the layout of an urban environment and down to the combination of pixels on our screen. Inside that plateau of a rough cityscape we move our body, our body attaches to the geometric framework, and we warm the hard edge by outlining our personalized path.
Within her work Refi manipulates, reshapes, tilts and reforms a front facing image of a female figure, her own body, to personalize a new system with protean boundaries. She presents each work as reconfiguration of the same life size print of a photo that is cut by hand and rearranged manually. As a viewer moves closer to the work the edges of Refi's body within the small squares emerge as patterns and newly shifting shapes. She has long been producing work derived from an analysis of the patterns of her daily routines. Now, Refi turns her attention directly to her physical form. The artist plays with the edges of her body to “create an elasticity within an imposed structure.” Each curve is rearranged within straight lines.
Refi investigates how much space the body holds on Earth, how much space she chooses to occupy and what shapes the body can become. Does the individual’s body end at the edges of physicality, of form, of shape? Or do we, as vibrant humans, full of life and permeable configurations mold to the environment we’re poured into? Does the body extend beyond the perpendicular corners of a city grid, of bit-forms of lo-fi and hi-fi digitization? How our own structure’s negative space interacts with our positive space may be just as important as our corporeal forms, stagnant yet mutable adjusting on Earth until we return to the particulates of dust.
Kathryn Refi was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Maryland Institute College of Art with her B.F.A. and earned her M.F.A. from the University of Georgia. She has had solo exhibitions at the Fugitive Art Center in Nashville, Saltworks Gallery in Atlanta, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art and Solomon Projects in Atlanta. Her work has been included in group shows at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, Fe Gallery in Pittsburgh, the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee, Mixed Greens in New York, the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, and The Contemporary in Atlanta, among many others. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.