August 19, 2021

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens
Look, it's daybreak, dear, time to sing

Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, Herber, désherber (Planting, Unplanting) (production still), 2020. HD video with sound, 17 minutes. Realized with the support of the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment. Courtesy of the artists.

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, The Same 627-ha Area of Agricultural Land in Clay County, Nebraska (1933 and 2006), 2019. Wood, ink, natural dyes, and paper, 36 x 36 x 4 cm. From the series Futures, 2019-ongoing. Photo: Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens. Courtesy of the artists.

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, Counting Birds for Five-minutes (production still), 2019. HD video with sound, 6:09 minutes, from the series The Violence of Care. Courtesy of the artists.

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, production still from Banding and Releasing Young Eastern Loggerhead Shrikes in Carden Field Site, 2019, HD video with sound, 8:13 minutes, from the series The Violence of Care. Courtesy of the artists.

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, Movement of Spot and Futures Market Prices for Agricultural Commodities (2005-2012), 2019. Wood, ink, natural dyes, and paper, 72 x 24 x 23 cm. From the series Futures, 2019–ongoing. Photo: Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens. Courtesy of the artists and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska.

Terry Evans, Fent's Prairie, near Salina, Kansas, Late May, 2018. Pigment print, 30 x 44 inches, from the series Ancient Prairies. Collection of the Ulrich Museum of Art. Courtesy of the artist.

Philip Heying, Winter grasses and pond between Cottonwood Falls and Bazaar – 2 January, 2021 2:00 P.M., 2021. 22 x 28 inches, pigment print on cotton rag paper, from the series A Survey of Elemental Gratitude. Courtesy of the artist.

A. Mary Kay, Zenith (detail), 2021. Oil on canvas, 7 x 18 feet. Courtesy of the artist.

The Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University presents Look, it’s daybreak, dear, time to sing, an exhibition of new and recent works by the artist duo Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens curated by Sylvie Fortin.

From suburbs to farmlands to the heart of densely populated cities, birds dwell wherever humans have settled. Some find ways to thrive in these transforming ecologies while others are adversely impacted, if not threatened with extinction. In their varied ways of cohabiting with humans, birds offer rich situations to reflect on the implications of living in more-than-human worlds.

In Look, it’s daybreak, dear, time to sing, Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens present interrelated bodies of sculpture and video that explore the ties binding birds and humans. Several works adopt a more-than-human viewpoint to reveal sites of mutual hope and friction, expanding the meaning of hospitality, care, communication, attentiveness as well as violence.

Projected around the Polk/Wilson Gallery, six videos from the series The Violence of Care make visible the entanglement of avian and human ecologies and temporalities. They offer a counterpoint to the proliferation of wooden sculptures, including the Futures series of colorful constructions that explore the economic, financial, and ecological processes in North American food and biofuel production by materializing graphical representations. The Survival Editions of Popular Wooden Games series evokes old-time game designs and highlights the challenges of multispecies cohabitation in an age of ecological collapse and mass extinction. A playful new sculpture, Community Toolshed for the Birds, invites us into the rich cognitive universe of birds through a “shed” that holds implements birds are known to use or that could be useful for them.

In the Amsden Gallery, the video What Birds Talk About When They Talk humorously critiques humankind’s fascination with bird songs and calls, inviting us to consider the effects of our interpretative acts: Do they foster connections across differences? Or limit our understanding of what non-human animals can think and do?

Stretching into the distant past while drawing us into possible futures, Look, it’s daybreak, dear, time to sing pays particular attention to coexistence in the Great Plains and asks us to expand our ability to imagine and build shared worlds for generations of avians, humans, and a host of other species.

Artists’s talk: August 28, 1:30–3pm,
Tallgrass Community Church Building, Matfield Green, Kansas

Also on view at the Ulrich Museum of Art:
Love in the Time of the Anthropocene: Terry Evans, Philip Heying, and A. Mary Kay
In this exhibition, two photographers and a painter with deep connections to Kansas turn their gazes on the prairie environments emblematic of the Great Plains.

Admission: free

Look, it’s daybreak, dear, time to sing was created with the support of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. The artists and the curator acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. The Ulrich Museum presentation of this exhibition and associated programs is generously supported by Stev Overstreet in memory of James Sprowl; Don and Ellie Skokan; Keith and Georgia Stevens; Dr. H. Guy and Carol Glidden; and Dr. Pat Purvis.The Ulrich is grateful for the ongoing support of Salon Circle members, who make the Museum’s exhibitions and programs possible through their Salon memberships. We are grateful for the in-kind support from our media sponsor, KMUW, and we receive funding for general operational support from the City of Wichita.

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