Material Evidence

Baxter St is pleased to announce Material Evidence, a two-person exhibition curated by Baxter St 2023 Guest Curatorial Initiative Recipient, Jenna Hamed. Material Evidence proposes the extension of an image’s lifespan beyond the archive by introducing a conversation among multi-disciplinary lens based artists. With the works of Nazanin Noroozi and Esperanza Mayobre, Material Evidence assembles an array of works on canvas and paper alongside photographs and film footage that the artists use to vanish the original photographer’s presence, asserting their hand-applied revitalization of a historicized record.

In this iteration of Nazanin Noroozi’s multimedia installation, This Bitter Earth, a 7-minute experimental moving image sequence features sourced material from her family’s archive, blueprint drawings and viral footage of recent historic catastrophic events across Tehran, Kabul and Beirut. 900+ still frames are manipulated and montaged using digital layering and analog mark-makings. The film is accompanied with an arrangement of natural fiber handmade papers containing photographic prints and pulp paintings ingrained into the papers’ composition.

Selections from Series A.M.O. (Arco Minero del Orinoco) by Esperanza Mayobre includes a monumental gridded drawing of gold bricks using acrylic and graphite on canvas, attempting to quantify the economic disparity resulting from the political exploitation of Venezuela’s natural resources. The drawing is exhibited alongside mixed media sculptures containing found materials and photographs from Mayobre’s archive depicting pivotal moments in this segment of the country’s history.

“On February 24, 2016, the government of Nicolas Maduro created the Orinoco Mining Arc with a presidential decree (Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela, 2016). This executive order opened 110 thousand rainforests in the northern part of the region for the extraction of natural resources, becoming the largest mining project in Venezuelan history. The land has been commodified, turning areas into great ecological and scientific value into nothing more than concession blocks for industrial extraction.” Excerpt from Ricardo Avella.

The works in Material Evidence employ the photograph as a basis for process-oriented interventions, transforming the image and transcending its concept. Citing Roland Barthes’ theory of the death of the author as the birth of the reader, this exhibition follows the process of the artist “making ” an image after the photographer’s capture.

Archival photograph from the artist’s personal collection of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia with Venezuela’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, taken sometime between 1964-69. This photograph may have been taken during the formation of The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a permanent, intergovernmental Organization created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.