Heather Gordon solo exhibition KIN at The Carrack



DURHAM, NC – KIN, a solo show from Durham-based artist Heather Gordon opens August 7, 2015 from 6-9pm at The Carrack and runs August 4-15th. This exhibition includes large paintings and a site specific installation on the floor and walls of the gallery in conjunction with a collaborative performance piece with Justin Tornow & COMPANY.

The works in KIN represent the culmination of Gordon’s series titled “How To Fold My Heart” which describes the nature of relationships and the construction of identity through place and history. Using personal data, computational algorithms, and origami folding patterns, Gordon describes the narratives of her life as space, movement, and color.

“Our lives exist in the company of others, within places, through the elasticity of time. I see my experiences as numbers, coordinates, durational moments, all set in soft relation, tucked into matrices, and mapping the shape of my life,” says Gordon.

KIN includes large paintings on unstretched canvas, each an instructional map for folding the shape of the lives of herself and her family members. For example, “How To Fold My Heart : New Orleans” is a depiction of the geography of Gordon’s life set in relationship to the birthplace of her mother. Other large works include “Dynamics of a Binary System: Parts A & B”, a diptych of two folding patterns mapping the conflict, resolution, and orbital movements of intimate relationships.

Although best known for her two-dimensional works, KIN includes a major performance piece from Gordon made in collaboration with Justin Tornow & COMPANY. Gordon states, “What began as an experiment with words and numbers bloomed into a dialogue combining the concepts of play and relationships, intuition and logic, movement, space, pathways, conflict, negotiation, and a general exploration of the meaning and value of what we speak.”

The installation at The Carrack includes elaborate, diagrammatic folding patterns made in tape and adhered to the floor and walls. These maps are derived from the places the dancers have lived throughout their lives and set in visual relationship to each other. Gordon says, “Justin and I have conceived of a stage with no front, back, or side. For us, the objective is to present a structure on which the dancers literally navigate their lives in the company of others doing the same and activate the entire exhibition space with movement and shape.”

Speaking about the experience of working in collaboration with a visual artist, Tornow states, “No. 15 has become a reexamination of what, to me, ‘makes’ a dance. Much of the process has been meeting with Heather both in and out of rehearsals, examining and discussing our individual and shared work, and then processing all this in movement by myself and with the dancers. Ultimately, this piece is a collision of elements, fragments, and artworks. And while there is a great degree of structure to the work, it is meant to stay alive and nimble. The sections can be arranged and rearranged based on chance and artistic interests as the work continues to develop.”

KIN event dates include the opening on August 7 from 6-9pm, an artist talk on August 13 at 7pm, and two performance dates, August 8 & 15 from 7-9pm for “The Value of Words #15/5”. The content of the performative work will be unique to each performance; movement vocabulary decisions vary between fully and partially determined, with sequencing and combinations of sections left to methods of chance.

More About Heather Gordon

Born in 1967, Heather is the daughter of a financial analyst and an engineer. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Florida in 1990 and her M.F.A from New Mexico State University in 1995. In 2014, she was a recipient of a North Carolina Artist Fellowship through the North Carolina Arts Council. Heather is the 2015 winner of ArtPrize PITCH NIGHT Durham and will be exhibiting her installation project “Resting Place” in Grand Rapids this Fall. She lives and works in Durham, NC.

More About Justin Tornow & COMPANY

Justin Tornow is an NC native, and lives in Durham, NC. She is the artistic director of COMPANY, a producer of the local artist series PROMPTS, and a co-founder and -organizer with Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA.) Justin’s work has been presented by the Triangle Dance Project, GSO Fringe Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Festival, 2012 Philly Fringe, and the NC Dance Festival.

COMPANY is a contemporary dance company based in Durham, NC. By utilizing both composition and improvisation, and reconsidering existing ideas about movement and content, the goal of artistic director Justin Tornow is to experiment with the formality of modern and contemporary dance.


Heather Gordon

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Justin Tornow & COMPANY

(704) 258-5997