Artist Aspen Mays unites art and science in a playful way to question how one gains knowledge. Mays asks how a system that catalogues, classifies, and documents individual parts can influence the understanding of the whole. Her latest photographic installation, Every leaf on a tree, opens February 5 during First Fridays as part of the monthly UBS 12 x 12: New Artists / New Work series at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago
. Every leaf on a tree runs through February 28.
Mays explores the relationship between science and photography through two recent bodies of work. Every leaf lines the gallery walls with over 900 individual color photographs of every leaf on a tree outside of the artists summer studio. For Every book, Mays creates a series of photographs of every book about Albert Einstein available through the Illinois Collegiate Inter-Library Loan Service. Over 2,100 books are organized according to the color spectrum, creating a series of individual rainbows carefully balanced between two gray chairs that reference Einsteins theories of light and gravity.
Mays received her MFA in photography in 2009 from the School of the Art Institute. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Grant and plans to travel to Santiago, Chile, in 2010 to study astronomy in the northern deserts of Chile. Mays leads a gallery on Tuesday, February 9, at 6 pm and an after party follows in Pucks Café.
February's First Fridays theme is "Exposé." Guests may create cards at the Valentines Day creation station, explore the galleries on a Production Site exhibition scavenger hunt, and get their picture taken by Glitter Guts, the popular pop-up photo booth seen at clubs around Chicago. Team Bayside High (Derek Berry and Rick Carrico) spin music and complimentary Puck's hors d'oeuvres are served.