Table of Contents
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Slag Contemporary is proud to announce the opening of TABLE OF CONTENTS, a solo show featuring recent works by Mark Lawrence Stafford.
“This collection of work embodies a “table of contents” in which the chapters and their sequence are most accurately represented as undefined variables suspended in context. Each of the works presented is a documentation of a semi-private performance of a process I call “the context: conundrum”.
This process is similar to my understanding of Jung’s “collective unconscious” notion, but with a fundamentally different focus: I do not characterize the muse to decode archetypes, entities where one can find answers or questions, but instead, I resist any recognizable structures to conjure the unknown, which I assimilate into the forms generated.
The refocusing performed in this process as documented in this exhibition is the synchronization of three universal concept threads: The nature of the architecture of knowledge, the consistency of time and the ruins of sensation .
These forms, I believe are the pure data of this process. I possess no ownership of them from the recognizable self until I reach the moment of incision in which I try to communicate it utilizing linguistic symbols. This act brings them to a new but not final level of the context: conundrum, where one has to ask if the context enriches the native or raw data of the process, or whether it confines not only your ability to decode the work—which would be a splintering of the form as seen through the lens of your personal contextual architecture, but also my ability to encode the work, which quite likely would lead you in the wrong direction to begin with. Therefore, I propose using our mind’s relentless ability to abstract as a means to create, instead of confine, our experience of reality.” – Mark Lawrence Stafford
Mark Lawrence Stafford was born in Anchorage, Alaska in 1978. He received a BFA degree from the School of Art, University of Arizona in 2002 and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2005 for his study in New Media, Installation and Performance Arts. In 2008, he became a fellow of the AIM program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Recent fellowships, grants and residencies include Franconia Sculpture Park (2011), The Puffin Foundation (2010), Socrates Sculpture Park, NY (2010), Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (2010), and chashama Visual Arts studio residency (2009).
Stafford has represented the United States in international exhibitions in venues such as Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing, China; the 7 th Verkliets Biennal in Germany; Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo- Centro De Investigaciones Esteticas, Merida, Venezuela; VIVID, Birmingham, United Kingdom; Zentral Bibliothek, Zurich, Switzerland; Biblioteca Nacional de Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the 10 th OPENART International Performance Art Festival, Beijing, China.