A solo project by Simon Grind
1758 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
On view April 27–May 3, 2018
In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones.
—Guy Debord, Theory of the Dérive, 1956
Drawing inspiration from psychogeography, city planning, and the poetry of bureaucracy, Simon Grind uses video, sculpture, and installation to explore and respond to the built environment. Architecture and infrastructure become spaces for play: the audio from a pedestrian crossing signal is transformed into a musical sample, and twisted signposts demand sustained, close-up investigation.
The works included in City Life function as artifacts of both the urban landscape and Grind’s relationship to it. In Temporary Street Sign, Grind reinstalls a road work sign, simultaneously crude and over-engineered in its construction, into the gallery. Grind resurrected the fallen sign post from a nearby street multiple times over several days before ultimately taking it with him. The accompanying short videos in City Life, captured by the artist on an iPhone, navigate the city with familiarity and immediacy. These brief vignettes collectively form a love letter to Baltimore and its landscape.
Simon Grind was born in Umeå, Sweden, where he received a Foundation Diploma from Umeå Art School in 2010. He received a BA with First-class Honours from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, U.K., in 2013 along with the MFI Graduate award for his degree show project, Ängslador/Field Barns. He has exhibited in Sweden, U.K., Austria, Spain and the U.S. and received a Fulbright Grant and the Thord-Gray Memorial Grant in 2017. Grind is a MFA candidate at the Mount Royal School of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, but is currently in Sweden due to visa issues.
City Life was curated by Joshua Gamma with generous help from Allie Linn & Emilia Duno, with support from the MICA Curatorial Practice MFA program under the direction of José Ruiz, Director of Curatorial Practice.
Text by Allie Linn.
The name City Life comes from the “I ♥ City Life” ad campaign by Live Baltimore. The campaign was dormant at the time of the exhibition, but has since been revived.