MÓNICA PALMAElbow to Knee
November 15 - December 16, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, November 15, 6-9PM
The story is paper. Paper in Mónica’s studio, where the time and music is. The paper starts thick, smooth and beautiful. Monica paints it. For many, this is where the process starts and ends. But for some of these objects, this is the beginning.
A few take field trips. Mónica carries the paper through New York City boroughs, punishing and blessing them by train, doors closing. The subway doors bash the body, always, we are abused by city doors and transport. The paper goes to and fro, with their chaperone. Often there’s weather and crowd. New York City music. Strange folk. If a car is crowded and Mónica snags a seat, she sits on the paper or embraces with her legs. The folds start. She holds it to be smashed by the doors which separate the train cars. People might look up. The heavy train station door that you have to open with your whole body, the horizontal silver push handle - she jacks the paper up in there for a bit too. It is a commute with a paper witness.
Mónica still chaperones the paper which stays behind at the studio. It gets to the floor in tiny groups. Each sits in its own frame made by calculated folds, inherent to the narrative of the paper. She glues a bit, and then stacks a few papers, one on top of the other and folds them together. This is what I mean by chaperone. There’s a journey involved, guidance, and even a bit of bullying. They tussle with the music on. Squat. Hug. Spoon. Bite. Enemies who wrestle so close. Lovers and their fisticuffs. Then she brutalizes and blesses the objects with saws. A Japanese and miter saws. She respects the folds which have occurred along the travels and cuts along the folds, like meat. There aren’t forced cuts, the way is long and the paper has suffered to become leftover. Leftovers are the best part of all intentions, but the story, the story is the stove.
-Sarah Raymont, 2019
Mónica Palma studied visual art at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. In 2008 she received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been based in Brooklyn since 2008. Her work has been shown at TSA (NYC), 245 Varet Street (NYC), Ortega y Gasset Projects (NYC), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), Underdonk Gallery (NYC), Dixon Place (NYC), and Soloway Gallery (NYC). Her work has been featured in Art in America, Art Forum, Actualize Magazine, Temporary Art Review, and The Coastal Post.