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Coble/Riley Projects Heads to Sweden!

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January 1, 1970 12:00 am

We’re back! We know it has been a little while since our last update. 2011 was an exciting and busy year filled with travel, there exhibitions and activism. As we move into 2012, stuff we are excited to apply our individual experiences to our collaborative practice. We are thrilled to be able to do this in February at a residency in Umeå, Sweden. We will spend a month making new work in the wintry north through the Iaspis Residency Program.

Where we are going:
Umeå is about 600 km north of Stockholm and about 400 km south of the Arctic Circle. In February the average temperature ranges from 12-25 F, there is roughly three-hours of daylight and A LOT of snow! During the residency we will also have a studio at the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts where we have been invited to give an artist talk and do studio visits with students.

What we’ll be making:
We don’t know yet! Since our work is often built out of our experiences on-site, we tend not to go into new situations with a over determined plan. Part of our collaborative process is about creating as we go,  remaining open to the environments we encounter and people we meet. Please join us during this process by following us on facebook and at our website where you can also see our past work. We’ll be blogging!

Mary and Blithe’s Updates from 2011

This fall Mary entered her second year teaching at the Funen Academy of Art in Odense, Denmark. Drawing on her experiences living in Denmark she co-edited, with Louise Wolthers, a zine playing with the format of a Danish language book called Dansk for hele verden (Danish for the whole world). With contributions from 7 other artists, this zine was a collaborative response to not only the language book itself, but to Denmark’s current self image and attitudes towards foreigners.

In September, Mary performed her first live work in Copenhagen. She presented the performance and installation Asylum at ALT_CPH 11: Encounters, an alternative annual art fair at The Factory for Art and Design.

In November, Mary performed Fighting Cocks as part of Commitment Issues, a FADO-supported performance in Toronto, Canada.

Throughout the fall Mary also visited Dublin, Ireland several times in preparing her installation and performance of Source (Dublin): Field of Water which was included in the Science Gallery of Trinity College’s exhibition Surface Tension: The Future of Water that opened in October.

Currently Mary is preparing for her first solo show in Denmark opening in June 2012 at Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen.

In June, Blithe completed her long-term project The Edna Experiments, a multi-media installation that explored the found diaries of a 1960’s rural housewife named Edna. The installation premiered at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ at the culmination of a six month residency. Excerpts from The Edna Experiments were also shown in two group shows, APOCRYPHA: Kenseth Armstead, Dahlia Elsayed & Blithe Riley at Ironworks Gallery in New Jersey, and Bridges, Trees, Skulls, Pies & other Treasure Trails at the Nars Foundation in Brooklyn.

Blithe joined the Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall. Looking to bring the discussions that were happening around economic injustice in OWS into the art world, she joined two groups, Occupy Museums and Arts & Labor.  Read more about her involvement in OWS.

In October, Blithe also participated in the billboard series at the Waffleshop in Pittsburgh, PA. Reading is Another Form of Height, was a text-based work in two-parts, a billboard and accompanying postcard.

Send us on our way!
Want to help us make our next project? Consider making a small donation!  While we are lucky to have our travel and board covered by IASPIS for this residency, we are faced with additional production expenses (primarily for equipment and gear for shooting video in wintry temperatures).

We look forward to sharing our latest adventure with you!

Mary and Blithe