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Granary Arts presents new exhibitions by Eileen Quinlan and Elpitha Tsoutsounakis

By Staff | May 22, 2024

2. Elpitha Tsoutsounaki, Fossil Bodies.

Granary Arts is thrilled to announce two new captivating exhibitions: “Under Water” by Eileen Quinlan and “Geontological Survey of Fossil Grains” by Elpitha Tsoutsounakis. These exhibitions will be on display, offering visitors a unique opportunity to engage with contemporary environmental and political themes through the lens of photography and design research.

Under Water / Eileen Quinlan

“Under Water” features thirteen photographic works that delve into Eileen Quinlan’s ongoing series. Through a meticulous examination of contemporary environmental and political conditions, Quinlan’s abstract works of decaying analog film and recontextualized appropriated imagery explore themes of propaganda and spectacle, celestial and natural environments, and domestic narratives.

Quinlan’s images are often sourced from the internet or her personal 35mm film archive, including scenes such as gunshots in a Paris storefront window, galactic images from NASA’s telescopes, the underbrush of Wayland Woods, and distant desert landscapes. These images are printed, rephotographed with a 4×5 view camera, scanned, and manipulated by hand in her studio. The multiple reiterations and transformations of format disrupt the original context, creating new connections between geopolitical conversations and personal narratives of domestic life, entropy, and the artist’s body.

Quinlan’s work emphasizes the materiality of the photographic medium. From outdated and degraded Polaroid film to residual hairs and glitches on a flatbed scanner, her images bear the marks of her creative process. Deliberate scratches and chance chemical reactions add layers of visual nuance, embracing imperfections and unpredictability. This intimate engagement with process, including hand-manipulating negatives and chemical developers, underscores the tactile and emotive nature of her practice, highlighting the artist’s body as both a conduit for transformation and a creator of illusion.

Geontological Survey of Fossil Grains / Elpitha Tsoutsounakis

“Geontological Survey of Fossil Grains” by Elpitha Tsoutsounakis is an aggregate of three regional assemblies: archival materials, collective histories, and local geologies. The installation includes two maps that navigate the logic of worldmaking through Ochre practice, a bulletin of research that informs the works, and seven paper banners soaked in Ochre pigment, each containing a “fossil of grain.”

This installation is the latest from the Field Studio Geontological Survey (FSGS), a design research collective focused on Ochre through field, community, and studio operations. The work is a culmination of FSGS fieldwork in Ephraim, surveying local Ochres, and archival research in the Utah Pioneer Costume Research Project. It explores the history of rural women’s mutual aid organizations and maps them through potentials in the space between stone and grain.

Tsoutsounakis describes the fossil as the rock’s memory of the shape of the body that once was, similar to how a photograph is the archive’s memory of a past body. The traces of color–from the golden dust of the quarry to the pale glow of grain–map alternative routes in past and future narratives.

About the Artists

Eileen Quinlan earned her MFA from Columbia University in 2005. She has exhibited extensively, including her first solo museum exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 2009, and her first survey show at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf in 2019. Her work has been featured in prominent exhibitions worldwide and is included in the permanent collections of several major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Elpitha Tsoutsounakis is a Cretan American designer, printer, and educator based in Salt Lake City. She is a founding faculty member and assistant professor in the Division of Multi-disciplinary Design at the University of Utah. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Southwest Contemporary, and she was named a 2023 Design Arts Fellow by the Utah State Division of Arts and Museums.

Supporting Organizations

Granary Arts is supported in part by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, VIA Art Fund in partnership with Wagner Foundation, Utah Humanities, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, The Sam and Diane Stewart Family Foundation, Le Meridien Salt Lake City Downtown Hotel, The Ephraim City RAP Tax Fund, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, Sanpete County Travel, and generous support from Ephraim City.

For more information about these exhibitions, visit Granary Arts in Ephraim or check their website. These exhibitions offer a profound exploration of contemporary issues through innovative artistic practices, promising a rich cultural experience for all visitors.

1. Eileen Quinlan, An Aperture>


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