9 NOVEMBER - 17 DECEMBER 2000
New York-based artist Martha Burgess transforms the Rice Gallery into a giant world of brightly colored stripes for her interactive installation Manly on the Plaid. The exhibition is the latest chapter in Burgess’ ongoing multimedia series, Ignatz’ Nose Travels in Still Life.
Ignatz mouse, the character named in the series title, is a reference and homage to renowned cartoonist George Herriman and his cartoon strip Krazy Kat, a favorite of Burgess’s childhood. “What really drew me to it, she says, was that Krazy Kat himself, or herself, was constantly changing genders.” Ambiguous sexuality and a wry sense of humor are also evident in the objects Burgess chooses for her color-saturated photographic still lifes, which come to life on her CD ROM. At offbeat computer stations, visitors can relax and glide the mouse over pictures that dissolve into new images, whose surprising meanings are revealed through animated sequences, sound tracks, video clips, poems, jokes and interactive stories. Drawing on diverse sources ranging from art history, Chinese history, linguistics, feminist and queer studies, and popular culture, as well as her own personal experiences, Burgess describes her work as “treading somewhere between the archive and the kitchen sink.”
Because of adult subject matter, parental guidance was recommended.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Martha Burgess graduated from Bethel College in 1979 with a major in art, and a double minor in philosophy and psychology. She received an MFA from Yale University in 1982. Burgess has lived in New York since 1984, where she has worked as a freelance photographer and digital consultant. She has lectured on Queer Deconstruction at Barnard College, and for the Women’s Caucus of the College Art Association. Her most recent solo exhibition took place at Gary Tatintsian Gallery in Chelsea earlier this year.