There isn’t any containing Diamond Stingily. The irrepressible, 33-year-old New York transplant from Chicago identifies as a author but in addition makes visible artwork and performs on screens giant and small as if born to every self-discipline. With Sand, her first exhibition at Greene Naftali gallery, Stingily takes one other leap—into monitor and area.
The lengthy leap is to Stingily what basketball is to David Hammons and soccer is to Matthew Barney: a metaphor for striving. Viewers unfamiliar with the Olympic sport could also be mystified by the presence of an precise leap equipment. Its 52ft size, together with a runway and a ginormous sand pit wrapped in Security Orange plastic, splices the gallery in two, blocking simple passage by way of the house. Moreover, a locked, chain-link gate that closes off a personal room arrange for a funeral service permits peeking whereas inhibiting additional motion. “I like restriction,” Stingily says. “It’s a sample in my work: you may solely go thus far.”
That was clear to such opening night time friends because the Dia Basis’s Donna de Salvo, the Sculpture Middle’s Sohrab Mohebbi and the Artwork Basel director Maike Cruse, who had been pressured to circumnavigate the leap in small teams and ponder three awkwardly positioned chipboard crates of extra sand, every constructed to resemble a sarcophagus and bearing the stencilled phrases “NO SAND”.
Given its ungainly structure, stark lighting and excessive subjectivity, Sand could also be inscrutable to guests who move by way of what initially seems to be a development website. The truth is, it faithfully represents Stingily’s frame of mind when she conceptualised the present in 2021, a 12 months that took the lives of her mom, Sand, (quick for Sandra) and her grandmother. It additionally despatched Stingily to the hospital for a foot surgical procedure that immobilised the 6ft 1in artist for months. “I was underneath development,” Stingily declares. The present, she provides, is not only her approach of transferring previous grief. “It’s in regards to the current. And the issues we depart behind.”
Stingily alludes to a few of these issues with a multiplicity of forged bronze arms and toes that she scattered throughout the sand pit. In competitors, it guarantees jumpers a gentle touchdown, whereas Stingily has turned it right into a zone of immobility and anguish. The scene jogged my memory of our bodies fossilised by the volcanic ash of Pompeii. On the similar time, it remained a sandbox. A spot to play.
And Stingily is a participant, an artist to reckon with and an entertainer who has been discovering herself since she stop Columbia Faculty as a inventive nonfiction main in 2014, when the artists Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki-Olivo) and Forrest Nash learn a few of her journal writing. They inspired her to make it visible within the show window of Egg, a mission house they based in Chicago.
The ensuing mise-en-scène had all the trimmings of Stingily’s imagined funeral, together with her obituary, although she conceived the exhibition as a farewell at a second when she badly needed to go away Chicago. No sooner did it go on view than her fellow Chicagoan artist Martine Syms supplied to deliver her to New York to look in Notes on Gesture, a propulsive video on symbolic language that garnered extensive consideration in Syms’s New York debut at Bridget Donahue Gallery. It put Stingily’s face on the entrance web page of The New York Instances arts part. She by no means returned to Chicago.
Since then, Stingily has gone full bore into comedian appearing, zine publishing and critical art-making. In 2018, she performed a featured function in an episode of Terence Nance’s HBO sequence, Random Acts of Flyness. Two years in the past, she starred as Palace in The African Determined, Syms’s hilarious art-school satire and first function movie.
In the meantime, Stingily’s evocative sculptural installations received over critics and viewers for her participation in at least three thematic surveys on the New Museum as effectively for solo outings at Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin), the now-defunct Queer Ideas (Tribeca), the ICA Miami, the CCA Wattis Institute for Modern Arts in San Francisco, and the Kunstverein Munich. To cap all of it off, over the past 12 months New York’s Museum of Trendy Artwork (MoMA) has prominently displayed her Entryways (2021)—three battered doorways from Chicago properties, every with a baseball bat propped in opposition to it—in its up to date assortment.
“I’m nonetheless processing that,” Stingily says, reflecting on MoMA’s acquisition. “I really feel like I’ve completed a feat that artists who’ve been working longer haven’t. On the similar time, I work my ass off! So, why not?”
• Diamond Stingily: Sand, till 20 January, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York