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In Ash Heap / Landfill, New York based artist Marie Lorenz creates a gallery-sized landslide made of unfired clay, burying in the mud her fired ceramic trash. Lorenz’s installation, made specifically for the Dodd Galleries, considers scale and refuse: “Something that I have always liked about sandy beaches, ravines, gorges, creek beds, basically any sediment shaped by water, is the confusion of scale,” explains Lorenz. “Molecules of water behave the same way at every magnitude, a sandbar is no different than a continent, and erosion can make a miniature Grand Canyon on the side of the road.” Embedded in her examination is a deeper dread; the refuse and permanence of single use plastic that clog our bodies of water. Through the process of casting plastic in porcelain, Lorenz meditates on the contemporary fossil, a point very far in the future when objects are separated from any idea of their use value.
Marie Lorenz roots her work in exploration and narrative. Since 2002, Lorenz has been traveling various urban waterways in boats she designs and builds, collecting the tidal debris that accumulates in the harbor. From these floating vantage points, the artist cultivates new perspectives of otherwise familiar landscapes. Lorenz makes videos and installations that document and respond to the debris and discarded objects she encounters. Through printing, casting, or videotaping, she attempts "to un-know the metropolis by continually exploring it." The resulting works act as a visual equivalent of beach-combing and tell the story of the artist’s explorations in “collaboration” with the tide, as well as the connections she forges with her occasional passengers. Lorenz lives and works in New York City and has exhibited at the Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York; Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA; and Sculpture Center, New York; NY. She is represented by Jack Hanley Gallery in New York.