Video Work | Photo/Installations | Documentary Projects

In City Times/September 2005
Clark University's Schiltkamp Gallery

Nationally renowed artist Denise Marika's exhibition "Body Actions" (formerly titled "Battle") is currently on display at Clark University's Schiltkamp Gallrey in the Traina Center for the Arts.

Marika uses her nude body as the channel for communicating universal themes of longing, decay, power, vulnerability, and anomie. Enacting ritualistic but common actions that are repeated over and over, she lays bare some our deepest, most primal fears, aggressions, and desires. We literally read the language of her body, which is at once shockingly familiar and oddly distant, as if we are looking at her through a one-way mirror.

Marika’s installation includes video sculptures as well as photographic stills derived from videos. The video and photographic images are embedded in various sculptural frameworks and often include sound so that the images are given symbolic context and amplified impact. For example, the series of seven photographs in “Battle" is display within a staggered series of steel beams so that the narrative of male/female struggle is viewed within this rigid, narrow, vertical structure.

“My work addresses social concerns and issues that are embodied in personal struggles played out in our day to day lives,” said Marika. “I am offering personal gestures disassembled and re-embodied.”

The Clark show also premiers Marika’s new work, “Ash.”

The artist has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the NEA, the LEF Foundation, the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, New England Foundation for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has been an artist in residence at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, the ICA in Boston, and The School of Theology in Claremont, Calif.  She currently teaches at Massachusetts College of Art. In 2001, she was commissioned to do a project on “The Wall” over the atrium in the Worcester Art Museum and has undertaken public art commissions in Boston, New York, Scotland and Germany.