Cameron Patricia Downey
ENGAGE Projects is excited to announce the representation of Cameron Patricia Downey
, a Minneapolis-based artist building portals between the quotidian and the fantastical. A self-proclaimed “anti-disciplinary artist,” Downey’s process of making is an active rejection of regimen; instead, Downey takes on a “pleasure principle” in which they believe the process of creation should be an act of joy, even if the message of the work is not. While art media is often siloed into individual studies, Downey mingles disparate forms such as film, printmaking, readymade sculpture, and photography in order to create their own unique dialect of art outside of what exists in traditional practice today.
Loving to beat the sky, 2023
ink, aluminum, steel
48 x 80 x 38 in
Working in the genre of survival artistry, Downey is interested in the always-adapting creative efforts of working-class folx repurposing provisional items and materials as a way of living. Downey often uses multiples of the same everyday-item in a sculpture, focusing on seriality as a visual expression of the Blues Matrix, a uniquely Black sentiment characterized by the somber acceptance of the repetition of events. The Blues Matrix, from Downey’s perspective, is the belief that there can be escape in recapitulation. Often found in the repetition of lyrics in Blues music and poetry, Downey translates this effect into a visual language using installation. Read more about the Blues Matrix in Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory by Houston A. Baker, Jr.
Three Things Last Forever: Foundry Blue, 2022/2023 , Three Things Last Forever: Mouths of Rain, 2022/2023
framed silver gelatin print
edition of 5 + 1 AP
18 x 12 in
“Memory is characterized by stumbling into it.”
Addressing memory in much of their work, Downey believes the concept is governed by accidental tendencies. Downey states, “Memory is characterized by stumbling into it,” a phrase they used to describe their experience with recollection in their personal life. The artist also maintains that memories, personal and collective archives alike, are prone to decay; Downey’s work investigates how entropy, the gradual decline into disorder over time, “plays a role in the way we do and don’t recall things,” with the belief that “this same entropic tendency has anti-colonial possibilities.”
With a practice rooted in community, Downey’s idea of solitude stands out amidst other long-standing American ideas shaped by authors dating as far back as Thoreau; in fact, Downey recalls their family turning to fishing as a way to “be quiet with one another” in their early years, a sentiment many Americans might consider to be an oxymoron. They state, “Some of the best artwork is made when we’re working within ourselves.” Instead of turning away from one another, Downey advocates for a turning within, both together and alone.
Otherwise Than, 2021
leather, metal, and audio
3 x 6 ft
A graduate of Columbia University with emphasis in art and environmental science, Downey now teaches at Juxtaposition Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they got their start in the arts with the support of artists Caroline Kent
and Nate Young
. Downey is a current artist-in-residence at Second Shift Studio
in St. Paul as well as the Moving Image Collection at the Walker Art Center
in Minneapolis. Downey has shown work nationally and internationally, including These Streets Weren’t Paved For Tenderness
at 25 East Gallery, Manhattan, NY (2018); Lord Split Me Open
, FUTURE FUTURE, Three Things Last Forever
at Hair + Nails Gallery, Minneapolis, MN (2020); The Human Scale
at Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN (2021); Wild Frictions: The Politics and Poetics of Interruption
at Kunstraum, Berlin, Germany (2021); Hymn of Dust
at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2023); and M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (2023) among others. Downey will also be showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
Clarity, impossibly slow/The Way of The Bear, 2023
carpet, pine, resin, dust
70 x 70 x 15 in
Lord Split Me Open, 2023
Newcity Art Top 5: May 2023
Derrick Woods-Morrow: Gravity Pleasure Switchback
Derrick Woods-Morrow's first major solo exhibition Gravity Pleasure Switchback
is now up at Gallery 400! The show, listed in this month's Newcity Art's Art Top 5
, locates and entangles the exchanges of sexuality, desire, and the casual consumption of these energies across film, sculpture, and installation. Stop by the gallery to see this show-stopping exhibition!
Chris Larson will participate in the inaugural Wakpa Triennial Art Festival
in St. Paul with an iteration of his body of work The Residue of Labor
beginning June 24th! Meaning “river” in Dakota language, the festival name “wakpa” aims to highlight the distinctive aspects of the Twin Cities’ Mississippi River while acknowledging whose land on which the cities reside. The event’s first-ever triennial theme is “Network of Mutuality,” a phrase credited to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, which “speaks to social justice, mutual care, interdependence, and inextricable links among humans.” Click here
to find out more about the festival and see a full list of participating artists!
Adam Daley Wilson: THIS IS TEXT BASED ART Closes Friday, May 26th
Declared an Artforum Must-See, Adam Daley Wilson’s solo show THIS IS TEXT BASED ART
at ENGAGE Projects is closing Friday, May 26th. Don’t miss your last chance to see the show!
We want to also thank everyone who joined us for A Conversation About Mental Health and Creativity
, an artist talk at the gallery with Adam Daley Wilson
and Kelly Mathews