Mary Lucier, Leaving Earth, 2023 / Video still
Mary Lucier: Leaving Earth
Jan 19 – Mar 2, 2024
Cristin Tierney Gallery
New York, USA

Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present Leaving Earth, an exhibition of new video work by Mary Lucier. The exhibition opens Friday, January 19th with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and continues through March 2nd. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and she will be present at the reception.

Leaving Earth is a multi-channel video and sound installation inspired by excerpts from the final journal of Lucier’s late husband, the painter Robert Berlind. In this journal, Berlind fearlessly documented his thoughts on his impending death from a terminal illness. His writings reflect his appreciation of life with a remarkable lack of anxiety about the inevitable end – more curiosity than dread.

The imagery in Lucier’s work consists of sequences of protean video and still images filmed in both her domestic and working environments. Most were shot after Berlind’s passing, reflecting the world as she experienced it during his final days and after. Berlind’s terse epigraphs appear throughout as white text on a black background, serving as evocative companions to the flow of images in Leaving Earth.

pictures already formed
more remembrance than presence.

Lucier describes this nine-channel installation as one where “words, pictures, and sound become interchangeable, not serving as descriptions but as a rumination on reality and a form of coping.” Unlike much of Lucier’s earlier work, it does not follow a synchronous and sequential internal structure, instead allowing for random juxtapositions, repetitive thoughts, and the possibility of chaos to occur, reflecting the potential disarray in the dying man’s mind. The pictorial narrative in Leaving Earth is underscored by Berlind’s description of his mental state:

a succession of discontinuous moments occur
then disappear
without the elemental structure of sequence

And yet . . . I forget to fear death

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