Screens Series: Virginia Lee Montgomery, NEW MUSUM, New York
Water is the main constituent of Earth’s streams, oceans, rivers and seas, and of course fluids living organisms. It forms precipitation in the form of rain or fog. Clouds are formed from suspended droplets of water or ice. When finely divided, crystalline ice may precipitate in the form of snow. Water moves continually through the water cycle. Water is a transparent and nearly colourless chemical substance – essential for life on earth.
In her meticulously constructed videos Virginia Lee Montgomery conjures a surreal and idiosyncratic visual vocabulary, frequently populated by oozing cheese Danishes, animate ponytails, and manicured hands. Working across video, sculpture, and performance, Virginia Lee Montgomery interrogates the relationship between physical and psychic structures and the uncanny materiality of lived experience. Her practice bears the influence of her work as a graphic facilitator, a job for which she travels the country to diagram the development of ideas at group meetings and conferences, often for corporate clients. In her work as an artist,Virginia Lee Montgomery turns this skill, which she describes as “mind map scribing,” inwards, rendering the contours of her own subconscious and the logic of her dreams and memories. In the selection of videos on view, certain visual motifs—revolving drills, video glitches, prodding digits, reaching limbs, and dripping viscous liquids—recur in different contexts. Collectively, these forms and gestures rupture material surfaces, opening up portals to unknown ends.
Virginia Lee Montgomery (b. 1986) is an artist working between Texas and New York, primarily with video, performance, sound, and sculpture.
“Screens Series: Virginia Lee Montgomery” continues the New Museum’s Screens Series, a platform for the presentation of new video works by emerging contemporary artists, and is organized by Kate Wiener, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Education and Public Engagement.