Call & Response
East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx
Sunroom Project Space | April 2–May 5, 2013
Plain Sight Collection from the Coastal Lands of The Bronx (Hudson River) (detail), 2012–13, found objects, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.
East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, the Bronx, 2012-13, hunting for erratics in Pelham Bay between sunrise and sunset, 2012-13, C-print. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Jensen explores public landscapes, using photography, video and found objects to showcase the history and hidden wonders of a place. Long walks, arduous explorations, patient observation and historical research are all integral components of Jensen’s artistic process. During the final “gathering phase” of his practice, he builds a collection of found objects or creates a photographic series that documents a recurring form. Without digging or excavating, he picks up objects that he finds hidden in plain sight. What sets the collections apart is the fact that many objects are historically important, fantastically strange or surprisingly aesthetic. The final selection—consisting of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of objects and images from one location—is contextualized to exhibit layers of discovery, meaning and wonder.
For his Sunroom Project East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx, Jensen showcases Bronx collections and photographic series. The east coast assemblage consists of artifacts found throughout Pelham Bay Park, particularly on Twin and Hunter Islands. It is displayed on platforms made from chunks of misshapen dock-foam that litter the shoreline. A group of related photographs documents the enormous glacial erratics that were deposited around Pelham Bay. The west coast display contains objects found on Wave Hill’s grounds and in the adjacent Riverdale Park and was made during the 2012 Winter Workspace residency at Wave Hill. The assemblage is housed in a totemic sculpture constructed from a reclaimed beehive. Fossils, trading beads, porcelain fragments, handblown glass, plastic flotsam and metal cast-offs all combine to create a historical portrait of the site. A triptych of photographs depicts the majestic vista from the western shore of the Bronx looking north. The images show the Hudson River at sunrise and sunset, as well as the volume of trash that the artist collected from a small, neglected parcel of land along the coast. This work reveals the noble landscape without excluding either the impact that humans have had on the environment or the labor involved in cleaning it.
Plain Sight Collection from the Coastal Lands of The Bronx (Hudson River), 2012–13
Found objects, reclaimed apiary boxes, wood, plexi, wire, beeswax, 57 x 22 x 17 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Stefan Hagen
Winter Workspace 2012
Glyndor Gallery | February 14 – March 25, 2012
Matthew Jensen’s artistic practice investigates the ways in which public perception of landscapes affects how these spaces are experienced. Further developing his passion for exploration and hands-on engagement with nature, Jensen will create a collection-based project centered on walking, and the journey to, in, and around Wave Hill. His work often employs the use of photographs of natural sites throughout the city where people are not normally found. Jensen received his BA from Rice University and later his MFA from the University of Connecticut. His previous residencies include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at Governors Island and the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH.
Matthew Jensen, studio view of Jensen’s 2012 Winter Workspace. Courtesy of the artist.
The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.