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this Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Caroline Stearns, THE MISSION
(312) 243-1200
[email protected]
CHICAGO, IL (6/23/16) – THE SUB-MISSION is pleased to announce Iron Ore Cannot be Educated
into Gold, a site-specific installation by Liz Ensz. An opening reception will be held on Friday, July
8 from 6 to 8pm and will be on view through August 19, 2016.
Rooted in theories of the sublime, Ensz’s practice exists as an ongoing comparative study of the
mass-cultural investment in disposability and the human desire to imagine permanence through
emblems, monuments and commemoration. While disparate intentions inform these impulses –
one to quickly forget, and the other to remember – each will materially describe our society to
future generations. As an unapologetic trash-picker, Ensz scavenges materials ubiquitous in the
(contemporary) landscape, including metals, plastic, rubber and otherwise unwanted materials,
with the intention of reasserting their value.
Material engagement and material associations continue to be of fundamental emphasis in
Ensz’s Iron Ore Cannot be Educated into Gold. Embracing the subterranean site of THE SUBMISSION, Ensz displays stratified imagery on a sheer fabric substrate stretched along the gallery
walls. The stratiform imagery and the transparency of the fabric suggest the impermanence of
the foundation in which we rely. A copper pyramid cast from pre-Reagan pennies, a gold
pyramid of the same value cast from pawn shop jewelry and two large cast iron ribbons
sculptures encourages the audience to rethink the valuation of resources. Ensz’s installation
highlights the non-cyclical, linear manner in which materials are extracted, temporarily valued
and then buried.
The title of the exhibition ‘Iron Ore Cannot be Educated into Gold’ implies
material predetermination, something that I think can be useful in identifying
the inherent strengths of different materials. However, read in a social context,
this phrase summons a dangerous essentialism, which can perpetuate
oppressive biases and hierarchies which are constructed, but seen as inherent. I
present our material associations as conversations that allude to this structure
and it’s opposition.
– Liz Ensz
LIZ ENSZ (b. 1983) received her BFA in Fiber from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her
MFA in Fibers Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is
currently included in an exhibition at NIMBY, an outdoor installation series curated by Margot
Mache. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer,
MN; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Spaces, Cleveland, OH; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston,
MA; Eastern Carolina University, Greenville, NC; and Goucher College, Baltimore, MD. Ensz was
awarded Fellowship Residencies at Latitude, Salem Art Works, Playa, and Blue Mountain Center,
and has been the recipient of The Creative Baltimore Fund Grant, The Gilroy Roberts Fellowship
for Engraving, among others.
1431 W Chicago Ave Chicago, IL 60642 T 312 243-1200 info @themissionprojects.com www.themissionprojects.com/thesubmission
Artist Talk with Liz Ensz
Thursday, July 28, 6pm
THE SUB-MISSION
RELATED: Metal Casting with Liz Ensz
Hosted by Margot Mache at NIMBY
Saturday, July 23
2633 N Emmett St.
1431 W Chicago Ave Chicago, IL 60642 T 312 243-1200 info @themissionprojects.com www.themissionprojects.com/thesubmission

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