Mary Ellen Carroll
Mary Ellen Carroll as a conceptual artist has been investigating a single, fundamental question: what do we consider a work of art? The results are a multifarious, provocative and often wry outpouring in architecture, performance, theatre, writing, photography, filmmaking, printmaking, sculpture and painting. Carroll’s work interrogates the relationship between subjectivity, language, and power. The touchstones of her practice are the double, the imitation, and the copy, and these motifs are applied to a range of ends, from conjuring the unheimlich to probing the means of distribution. A Carroll piece may involve something as seemingly effortless as trademarking an idea by another artist, or as complex as walking out the door penniless with only her passport and the clothes on her back for six weeks in a foreign country. Carroll imbues all her work with a strong performative element; even her opus, ten years in the making in Houston, Texas, prototype 180 is conceived as a way of making architecture and its program perform. (www.prototype180.com) David Joselit, Yale University, stated: “Mary Ellen Carroll practices land art in the city in her “prototype 180” where she projects a figure as powerful as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty : a house that has been lifted with its slab and rotated while looking out at the surrounding neighborhood from cameras on each of its facades. This is art that is zoned for life.” Holland Cotter wrote about her exhibition at Columbia University's GSAPP. Carroll’s monograph was published by Steidl/Mack last year and received the AIGAs, Book of the Year Award. Mary Ellen Carroll lives and works in NYC. She is the recipient of numerous grants and honors: a Graham, a Guggenheim , a Rockefeller, a MacDowell and a Pollack/Krasner. She received the Pennies from Heaven Fund, for her work that is advanced, experimental, and socially visionary. Carroll teaches architecture at Rice University. Her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and institutions around the world and is in public and private collections.
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|Mary Ellen Carroll||November 20, 2011|