THE INVENTION OF THE WHEEL
LEAH DIXON: THE INVENTION OF THE WHEEL
September 20–November 24, 2019
Curated by Azikiwe Mohammed
Opening Reception: Friday, September 20th, 6-9pm
On the occasion of Gloria’s one-year anniversary, we are proud to present a solo show of new work by Leah Dixon. Her immersive installation The Invention of The Wheel—comprised of sculpture, painting, architecture, text, and video—constructs the atmosphere surrounding an original fictional narrative about the true inventor of the wheel and how this young woman's ancient innovation continues to cycle through our contemporary age of acceleration and interconnectivity. From the artist:
A Bronze Age teenage girl in an ambiguous boggy locale is helping her parents who, on the cusp of agriculture, are harvesting and replanting onion grass. She tells us the story of her daily life as an onion grass harvester and how it has altered her body odor, making her undesirable to male suitors. She reminds us that at the time, males' romantic gestures consisted primarily of kidnapping, a streaming trade in teenage girls, followed by often forced impregnation with a fertility-time twist. But her rejection from these barbaric norms allows her a freedom that no able-bodied female in her community has ever experienced. Now in control of her own destiny, she tells us how she is pursuing her dream of becoming an inventor — but first she must survive. In order to increase her onion grass harvest and escape the inevitable propaganda and torture that befalls lone women, she invents the wheel. This young inventor's autonomous path reveals to her that she is a time traveler, with a rugged plight that allows her to escape the historical erasure of her female peers. By transforming geometry and inventing the object that sparks modern global transportation, she lives forever — and confirms for us that thieves like the ones she averted, colonialism, and our edited history have misused her invention to bring us to the tip of global collapse. She's not asking for credit for her invention; she just wants you to see the truth that you already know.
Leah Dixon is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in New York City. She builds structures, performances, and spatial interventions in order to address mythologies that have shaped her consumption of sociopolitical events as an American woman. Her work culminates in architectural forms that reference fallen monuments, games, the military, nightlife, and public meeting places. The audience is often invited to interact, and to mechanize and confront these constructions. Dixon builds all of her work by hand via labor-intensive processes, enabling her to physically and materially protest, reconfigure, question, and play with propagandized forms. Dixon received a BFA from The Ohio State University, her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and was a fellowship resident at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has shown widely both nationally and internationally, including The IX Biennial of Visual Art of Nicaragua, curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud; a solo exhibition at Ludlow 38 MINI/Goethe-Institut New York; and recent shows at The Austrian Cultural Forum in Berlin, CONDO Mexico City with Parque Galería, and The Knockdown Center Fourth World Festival. She is currently a teaching fellow in Sculpture at New Mexico State University. In addition to her studio and site-specific practices, Dixon is also a founder and co-owner of Beverly's NYC.