January 28–March 6, 2016
Mrs. E. Ross Anderson Auditorium + Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery

January 28, 5–7 pm
Opening Reception

Guest curated by Dina Deitsch, "On Exactitude in Science" features four artists—Jennifer Bornstein, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Jumana Manna, and Elizabeth McAlpine—who directly address the materiality of architectural surface to question means of representation. In their, prints, photograms, sculpture, and performances, the artists present direct captures of the myriad of details that coalesce to form a given site. In doing so, they argue for a form of indexical representation that is grounded in material and experience, favoring touch over vision, and the fragment over the completed image.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges' short cartographic parable, "On Exactitude in Science," in which he describes an empire that maps itself in such detail that it creates a useless document the very size of the kingdom. As the empire recedes, the map frays and becomes the tattered remnants of its existence—the representation outlives the original. Borges' text takes on a different immediacy in today's world of image saturation. Through analog techniques, the four artists featured in this exhibition use models of image and object making pulled from historical photography to archaeology. The 1:1 ratio of representation offers us another way to consider the particularities and details of a place and a possible turn to historic techniques to revive lost relationships with the physical space of the present.

Admission to the gallery and related events is free.
Gallery Hours:
Monday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–8 pm
Closed Sundays and holidays
Reminder: The gallery will be closed this Monday, February 15 (President's Day).

View the Brochure

Related Events

February 2, 2016, 6:30 pm
Jennifer Bornstein: Artist Talk
Anderson Auditorium

Starting February 9, 2016, 5:30 pm
Bi-Weekly Re-Reading Group: "On Exactitude in Science"
Grossman Gallery

Rescheduled: February 23, 2016, 8:30–10:30 am
Breakfast Walking Tour with Dina Deitsch
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have rescheduled Dina Deitsch's breakfast walkthrough of her exhibition "On Exactitude in Science." Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday, February 23.
Grossman Gallery

March 5, 2016, 1 pm
Aslı Çavuşoğlu: Words Dash Against the Façade
Performance begins in front of the SMFA
Space limited. RSVP »

About the Artists

Jennifer Bornstein (b. 1970, Seattle, WA) presents rubbings of the walls and floors of the former Dia building in Chelsea made on the eve of its conversion into luxury lofts. Using the direct and antiquated technique of gravestone rubbings, these prints evoke an overwhelming sense of loss of a historic site, and also of the very idea of the photographic index.

Asli Çavuşoğlu (b. 1981, Istanbul, Turkey) similarly delves into the built surface as a repository for lost narratives. Through a performative walking tour, she 'reads' architectural facades in a project that revives an ancient practice of 'fortune-telling through building' with the aid of clairvoyants, historians, and architects.

Jumana Manna (b. 1987, Princeton, New Jersey) recreates the iconic texture and tonality of the limestone-clad (or "Jerusalem Stone") stoops from a Silwan plaza as freestanding odes to minimalism. Yet these specific objects imply a broader narrative of the fraught East Jerusalem site from which they are pulled, of bantering and preening men on full display in a distinctively Middle Eastern form of machismo within a deeply historically and politically embattled territory.

Elizabeth McAlpine (b. 1970, London, England) scrapes and plays her London sidewalk in recorded and contact printed film. She presents prints made from architecturally-specific, molded pinhole cameras to depict the 'skins' of interior spaces as a dimensional form of photographic representation.

On Exactitude in Science Press Release »