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Molly Greene, Rachel and Pris, 2020

Molly Greene: Deep Blue

April 9 – 29, 2021

Here, Pittsburgh is pleased to present the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Molly Greene, Deep Blue, which will open Friday, April 9th, 2021 with an open house reception on Saturday, April 10th at our temporary pop-up location hosted by Arsenal Motors, 3706 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201. Click here to make an appointment.

In her recent body of work, Greene seeks to examine the definitions of plant, animal and machine and the process by which these definitions are formulated. Drawing upon historical associations of femininity with flowers, as well as the interrelations of idealized femininity in the iconography of the machine, Greene explores the social and symbolic mechanics of how species, race and gender are co-constituted.

The title, Deep Blue, refers to the chess-playing computer developed by IBM in the 90s, which was the first computer to defeat a reigning grandmaster. In fact, development for the computer began at Carnegie Mellon University in the mid-1980s. As Greene explains, “the use of chess as a proxy for human intelligence and as a common unit for comparing human and machine capability is an attempt to traverse a perceived boundary between the categories of human and machine. It is also emblematic of the sort of limiting and reductive logics that have long governed who is included and excluded from the status of the human. For me, the title is a way to gesture towards the anxieties and pleasures that surround these processes of relational identity formation, as well as the desperate and delusional drive to prop-up and safeguard human specialness.”

Thus, the subjects of these paintings are what Greene terms, “plant machines.” The title of each painting references a fictional female cyborg, for example, Helva is the compelling protagonist in Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang (1969). For Greene, “these paintings are concerned with philosophies of the human, and the way that definitions of the human manufacture corresponding definitions of the subhuman, the non-human and the super-human. I’m interested in the politics and aesthetics of that boundary-making and the history of anxiety regarding the fragility and fictionality of the idea of the human (and all its attendant others).”

Molly Greene (b. 1986) is a Los Angeles-based artist. She has a PhD from Yale University in American History and a Master in Environmental Science. Greene has exhibited her work at Kapp Kapp, Philadelphia; Unit, London; Arsenal Contemporary, New York; The Hole, New York and 0-0 LA, Los Angeles, among others.