VIRGINIA LEE MONTGOMERY || PONY COCOON
February 23 - March 31
False Flag presents PONY COCOON, a selection of new work by Virginia Lee Montgomery.
Working across video, sculpture, & performance, Virginia Lee Montgomery interrogates the relationship between physical & psychic structures. Conceived, scored, edited, produced, & performed in its entirety by the artist, the show’s titular video piece, PONY COCOON, employs an idiosyncratic visual vocabulary to conjure a surreal yet familiar dreamscape. Populated by VLM’s ‘Business Witch’ persona, a luna moth, & a ponytail, the film unpacks a range of cultural associations related to the butterfly: from joyful transformation to deathly harbinger. The original soundscape is composed from field recordings of Texas thunderstorms, corporate conference hotels, a Dewalt drill, & a single moth emerging from a cocoon.
Three meticulously polished marble sculptures extend motifs of the projected video into immediate, tangible form. Carved from the same aesthetic language, they are paradoxically cryptic & literal, conceptual & hand-built. Created by VLM at the historic West Rutland Marble Quarry (during a fellowship at The Vermont Carving Studio and Sculpture Center), they serve both as uncanny totems & material embodiments of the familiar.
PONY COCOON furthers Virginia Lee Montgomery’s enduring inquiry into the link between material & mind - expanding its scale & context. Her alchemical voice is both idiosyncratic & clear. Through her unexpected fusion of references, symbols, & histories, VLM offers a singularly cerebral & seductive vision.
Virginia Lee Montgomery (works in Texas and New York, USA) received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 & MFA from Yale University in Sculpture in 2016. Her subject matter ranges from metaphysics to latent autobiography, often incorporating a feminist impulse. While conceptual, VLM’s artwork is hand-built: made with everyday objects & simple tools. Intimate & surreal, repeating gestures such as drilling, dousing, or reaching, & recursive symbols such as circles, holes, & spheres figure prominently.
The artistic practice of VLM bears the influence of her career as a Graphic Recorder: akin to a simultaneous translator, she diagrams - in real-time - the conceptual content of talks delivered at conferences across the country. This professional experience informs her artwork: turning her gaze inward, VLM gives physical form to the cognitive topography of her conscious experience.
Virginia Lee Montgomery is a current 2018–2019 Socrates Fellow at Socrates Park, NY, and a 2019 member of CRITGROUP at The Contemporary Austin. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: “HONEY MOON,” Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, NY (2019); “PONY COCOON,” False Flag, NY (2019); “The 2018–2019 Socrates Annual,” Socrates Sculpture Park, NY; “CRASH TEST: The Molecular Turn,” La Panacée-MoCo, Montpellier, France (2018); “An unbound knot in the wind,” CSS Bard, Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2018); “OPEN MIND: Selva Aparicio and VLM,” CRUSHCuratorial, NY (2018); “Material Deviance,” SculptureCenter, NY (2017); and “The Particle Accelerator Memorial Project,” Wright Laboratory, Physics Department, Yale University, CT (2015). She has been awarded residencies at The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Wright Laboratory, Coast Time, The Shandaken Project at Storm King, and The Vermont Studio Center. VLM was the recipient of Yale University’s Susan H. Wedon Award (2016) and was a nominee in sculpture for the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (2016).