Sumakshi Singh & Paola Cabal
Elsewhere: Installations by Sumakshi Singh & Paola Cabal

Using the physical history of the space itself as their point of departure, Chicago artists Cabal and Singh will effect subtle changes in the way viewers experience the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Through the artists’ installed’ ‘interventions’, walls, entryways, windows and lighting will be extended, compressed, articulated, and in other ways modified, playfully engaging viewers in the question of what parts of their visual experience are ‘real’- both within the gallery and outside it.

Sumakshi Singh

Paola Cabal

Sumakshi Singh
Elsewhere: Installations by Sumakshi Singh & Paola Cabal

My work constantly traverses the lines between Metaphor, Reality and Illusion and ranges from plays on space-time theories to cultural, historic and physical critiques of place, done in paintings, interactive installations, sculpture, video and performance.

My recent projects involve drawing out, assembling and even weaving illusions of a perceived space, object or another time on top of the pre-existing objects and architecture of a chosen space, until from one vantage point the actual space is completely obliterated by the perceived. As viewers step away from the specified viewing position and enter the installation, the objects break into strange shapes, stubbornly fighting the architecture and retaining angles of a now-inaccurate perspective, generating a space- time hiccup where they are free to move but their earlier perception is not. Both form and material turn fickle as straight lines turn into curves mapped on a rounded table leg, the seamless frame of fictional chair abruptly bursts into a zig-zag of tiny hand cut and polished wood pieces, and the “fabric on a sofa” plainly starts displaying the hand’s gestures in chalk pastel. The backs of the real chairs, tables, trash cans, jars, exposed bits of the floor, walls, shelves and columns begin to unabashedly reveal themselves and a contradictory co-existence of the real and virtual begins.

Paola Cabal

Paola calls her pieces ‘interventions’: The work is created on-site and takes its cues from elements inherent to said space. She ‘intervenes’ into the space in alternately obvious and subtle ways, yet maintaining the unique properties of the site. The play of both sunlight and street-light on, and through, built structures constitutes the focus of many of her interventions as she ‘fixes’ sunlight to the floors and walls of her sites by spray painting the shadow’s cast patterns. The result is what is illuminated when light falls in a built space, and then what remains after that light fades. Cabal says, “…it is static work, work that exists in space and evokes time, which has the power to reveal aspects of our constantly shifting lived experience.”

During the opening reception, Gisela Insuaste and Sumakshi Singh will participate in a one-time performance, interacting with the painted sunlight installation by Paola Cabal. Sitting still or moving within the altered space, Insuaste and Singh will be similarly modified to reflect a particular time and sunlight condition: from alterations to their bodies to modifications to their clothing, Insuaste and Singh will appear to reflect lighting conditions not necessarily present when viewers experience the piece.

Community Partners 2017