September 20 - November 3, 2019
1635 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
MICKEY is pleased to present “BORN”, an exhibition by Paul
Heyer. “BORN” features an immersive light and sound installation that evokes a post-earth or post-body existence. The main gallery has been transformed into an impossible landscape that collides the micro and the macro, evoking both the swirling magnitude of galaxies and the biology of microscopic organisms. Pools of light are arranged on the ground in a pattern of organically undulating lines, a kind of writing on the earth. These bits map out a larger enigmatic whole, much like DNA.
The sound component of “BORN” was made in collaboration with
DJ and producer Ariel Zetina. This immersive soundscape culls from ‘90s ambient trance, a moment of utopian hope for transcendence and an eco-minded unity of all beings (including those that might
be in space). The narrator, voiced by the artist’s nephew, guides the participant through a liminal space - between life and death, between earth and what comes after, and between human and something else. Heyer wants to stare into that instant of transformation and hold the viewer in that liminal space.
The side gallery contains Heyer’s skeleton paintings. These paintings utilize the lexicon of the main gallery’s installation and its theme of playful transmutation.
In this moment of political and ecological uncertainty, “BORN” explores the question, “What is the outer boundary of life, and what courage must we summon to confront that frontier?”
Paul Heyer (b. 1982, Chicago) received his MFA from Columbia University in 2009. He has had four solo exhibitions at Night Gallery, LA and his work has been shown at Chapter NY, New York; Perrotin Gallery, New York; Park View Gallery, Los Angeles; HOME, Manchester, UK; and Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul. His solo exhibition Chicago Works: Paul Heyer was on view in Spring 2018 at MCA Chicago, where he had previously been included in group shows. His work has been written about in Artforum, The New York Times, and FlashArt. Heyer lives and works in Chicago.