Marissa Lee Benedict: Multiplices

Marissa Lee Benedict: Multiplices

05/03/2013 - 06/13/2013

This exhibition is over.

Opening Reception:


119 N. Peoria #2c

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1. consisting of many elements in a complex relationship
2. manifold; multiple.
3. of, pertaining to, or using equipment permitting the simultaneous transmission of two or more trains of signals or messages over a single channel.

1. a system or signal involving simultaneous transmission of several messages along a single channel of communication.
2. (in map making) a stereoscopic device that makes it possible to view pairs of aerial photographs in three dimensions.
3. a building containing a number of motion-picture theaters or, sometimes, a cluster of adjoining theaters on the same site.
1. to send several messages or signals simultaneously, as by multiplex telegraphy.

[from Latin: having many folds, from MULTI- + plicāre to fold]
pl.  multiplices


“How much of philosophical, scientific, and political thought is caught up with the idea of continuity? What if it were otherwise? … [if there was] a way of thinking with and through dis/continuity – a dis/orienting experience of the dis/jointedness of time and space, entanglements of here and there, now and then, that is, a ghostly sense of dis/continuity, a quantum dis/continuity… differentiations that cut together/apart – not separate consecutive activities, but a single event that is not one.”

“Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Realtions of Inheritance: Dis/continuities, SpaceTime Enfoldings, and Justice-to-Come”, Karen Barad (Derrida Today 3.2 (2010):240-268 Edinburgh University Press):


As someone deeply curious about the way our world works–from the simple clarity of infinitesimally small micro reactions to the infinite complexity of macro interactions–Marissa Lee Benedict’s practice is deeply rooted in research and experimentation. Growing out of a four year investigation into algae–and its potential to transform our food, pharmaceutical, science, and fuel industries–MULTIPLICES is an exploration by Benedict into processes of thinking, making, researching, assembling, transforming: processes of making dis/connections.

For MULTIPLICES, Benedict has collected algal samples from 5 sets of sites in the Chicago metropolitan area, taking these sites as a series of coordinates from which to draw spiraling connections between personal, social, material and theoretical histories. Installed in threewalls’ main space, MULTIPLICES pairs written text with sculptural objects; assemblages which put forward the experience of the exhibition as a multiplex, as a way in which messages and transmissions can be packaged together and sent simultaneously along a single telephone line. Building upon Deleuze and Guattari’s proposition of the book as a space where “…there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and destratification”, Benedict encircles the gallery space with a single shelf – a ledge prepared to hold a multitude of “textbooks” which serve as a road maps for the sculptural assemblages occupying the gallery walls and floors.

Traveling to Wolf Lake, Belmont Harbor, the offices of SAIC/SAIC (the Art Institute and the sience/technology company), Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable Homesite/Dusable Park and threewalls itself, Benedict dis/connects these 5 sets of coordinates through a process similar to that of felting – of generating a nonwoven fabric through the multiple, random interlocking of spiral strands (fibers) under heat, friction and pressure. Utilizing this process of “felting” as a metaphor for describing the synthesis of a four year body of research, Benedict takes up the exhibition as a moment to embarks on a discussion of MULTIPLICES: of simultaneities and separations; iteration and reiteration; sampling and searching and researching; cutting apart and together; certainty and curiosity and uncertainty; chance and intention and proposition; moments of hope and failure; loss and transformation; everything and nothing.

A native of Southern California, Marissa Lee Benedict is a sculptor, researcher, writer, explorer, teacher, student and avid amateur of many fields and disciplines (coming from the French “lover of”). Motivated by a sense of critical wonder, Benedict’s practice is an ongoing investigation the complex – and ever evolving – relationship between humans and the material world. Whether communicating via sculpture, installation, performance, video or the written word – or a hybridization thereof – she seek to articulate Jane Bennett’s philosophy of “vibrant matter”, fore-fronting the “force of materiality” to create both a physical and intellectual understanding of networked interconnectivity. Benedict is interested in participating in processes which reinvest material with agency; processes which allow equal space for planned human action and uncontrollable biological, chemical and physical reaction.

Currently based in Chicago, IL, Marissa Lee Benedict received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2007 and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where she teaches part-time in the Sculpture Department.

On MULTIPLICES- Pat Elifritz

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