Taking Place

by Mary Stuart Hall

Taking Place explores the intersection of history and the present day with a two channel video installation, an audio piece played on FM radios, silver gelatin photographs and an artist book to accompany the exhibition. The installation is part protest and part call to action for the precarious state of The Old Atlanta Prison Farm and Intrenchment Creek Park. Not only do those two pieces of property incapsulate the violent history of America, but they are currently being used as pawns between the governments that own them and the developers that would demolish their natural beauty. Using an original arrangement by Daniel Solammon, America the Beautiful?, the installation hinges on the repetitive playing of the common patriotic anthem by a marching band, such that its original optimistic fervor has fallen out of tune. The Spec Space includes a two channel video installation with immersive audio. Viewers stand in between the two videos while the marching band approaches and then disappears. The Shed Space incorporates multiple FM radios that play ambient recordings from the Old Atlanta Prison Farm along with a recording of the marching band that degrades over time. Considering the idiom taking place, the installation questions the double meaning of the phrase and the space of that land as an event in and of itself. 

Mary Stuart Hall is a multi disciplinary artist living and working in Atlanta, GA. Her work considers the intersection of landscape, architecture and the production of space. Graduating with a degree in Studio Art at Sewanee, The University of the South, Mary Stuart Hall then completed a Masters in Art Education from the University of Georgia, and an MFA in Studio Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She teaches visual art at the Galloway School in Atlanta. She has exhibited work throughout the US and internationally including an award for Best in Show at MINT Gallery’s annual juried exhibition. She was an artist in residence at the ADAM Lab at Georgia Tech in collaboration with Eyedrum Gallery. In the summer of 2019 she was the MFAST Artist in Residence at the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany where she exhibited at Gallery Flut. Mary Stuart was one of two MICA nominees for the Dedalus Foundation Award for Painting and Sculpture. She recently completed a residency at Volatile Parts with an installation and book titled, Hear and There. Mary Stuart’s practice is driven by a desire to give form to the immaterial so that we can experience encounters that are immeasurable.