Berlin

Manifest Destiny

Mildred Howard, Tom Molloy, Simon Norfolk

September 18 – November 6, 2009

exhibition view: What Came First by Mildred Howard in front of The Lone Star by Tom Molloy
exhibition view: The Lone Star by Tom Molloy and What Came First by Mildred Howard
exhibition view: The North Gate by Simon Norfolk and What Came First by Mildred Howard
exhibition view: Saturn V Rocket by Simon Norfolk and Meret by Mildred Howard
Tom Molloy
Edge , 2008
paper and wood
map: 35 x 50 cm (13 4/5 x 19 7/10 in.)
plinth: c. 89 x 53 x 60 cm (c. 35 x 20 x 23 in.)
Tom Molloy
Embedded
collage made from US Dollar and Iraq Dinar bills
framed 26 x 37 cm (66 x 94 in.)
Tom Molloy
Sphere of Influence
collage from a US Dollar note
framed 26.5 x 26.5 cm (10 2/5 x 10 2/5 in.)
Tom Molloy
US $ Map
hand-cut collage from US $ bill
7 x 12 cm (2 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.)
exhibition view, clockwise: Meret and Kiss the Cake by Mildred Howard, Glory Trip 197 by Simon Norfolk, and What's Black, White and Red All Over by Mildred Howard

Press Release

Moeller Fine Art Berlin is pleased to present MANIFEST DESTINY, an exhibition of work by artists Mildred Howard, Tom Molloy and Simon Norfolk. Comprised of assemblage, installation, drawing and photography, the exhibition explores the contemporary relevance of 'Manifest Destiny', the nineteenth century doctrine used to justify the territorial expansion of the United States as God's will. Each artist approaches the relationship between America's various ideologies and imperial agendas through different media and political frameworks. Together, they address issues such as race, religion, gender, money, military, war, democracy, freedom, and national security.

The sculptures of Mildred Howard (USA) combine influences from conceptual art, craft, abstraction, surrealism and photographic realism to create powerful assemblages of natural and abandoned materials. Her visual vocabularies, shaped by memory, history and identity, draw a fine balance between social concerns and modernism. In Meret, Howard fabricated a chessboard with black and brown fake fur squares and ornate salt and pepper shakers as chess pieces. An homage to Meret Oppenheim's Surrealist masterpiece, the 1936 fur-lined teacup and spoon, the work also deploys American racial symbolism and reflects Howards recurring concern with cultural traditions often omitted from official chronicles of the past. Comprised of two open American history books riddled with bullet holes, Volume I & II: The History of the United States with a Few Missing Parts, suggests how the violence of the history of the United States has been omitted from record and left us with a distorted view of both past and present.

Tom Molloy (Ireland) addresses contemporary geopolitical conditions in drawings, paper sculptures and collages. Much of his work focuses on the United States and the global consequences of America's almost inescapable cultural, economic, political, and military hegemony. With Map, Molloy creates an impeccable contoured map of the world with a collage of dollar bills, suggesting the inability of location or nationality to insulate people from America's dominance. In Lone Star, an installation of 50 watercolor drawings of stars with bullet wounds or tears, he arranges the stars often seen in rural County Fairs' shooting galleries to mimic the placement of those in the American flag, repeating subtle imagery to encourage a powerful political dialogue. For Resource Molloy uses the material guano to reproduce a piece of US legislation from 1856 enabling US citizens to take possession of islands in the Caribbean containing guano deposits.

In his photographs, Simon Norfolk (Nigeria/England) studies the effects of war on the physical shape of cities and organic environments while managing to capture the sublime qualities of natural landscapes. On view are eleven photographs of varying sizes from five different series. In Full Spectrum Dominance, Norfolk reveals the bewildering beauty and horrific destructive capacity of what human ingenuity can achieve. Also capturing what Norfolk calls the 'Military Sublime,' the photograph of Glory Trip 197, shows us an unarmed nuclear missile launched from an air base in California DURING a National Nuclear Security experiment. Also printed and on view for the first time is Norfolk's photograph of a controlled explosion on the set of 'Over There,' a Fox TV production about the life of a US Army platoon in contemporary Iraq (which was filmed in north Los Angeles.)