Luce Artist Talk: Molly Springfield and The Marginalia Archive

Molly Springfield, Manicule, 2012, graphite on paper, 44 x 114 inches, (each panel 44 x 34 inches)

This month's Luce Artist Talk dives into the connection between the written word and visual art. D.C.-based artist Molly Springfield will talk about the work in her current show at Flashpoint Gallery, The Marginalia Archive, and how her pieces connect to works on view in the Luce Foundation Center. This month's Luce Artist Talk is on Saturday, May 9th at 1:30 p.m. Luce Artist Talks are presented in collaboration with CulturalDC.

Have you ever written notes in the margins of a book? Do you underline parts you find important? Have you found someone else's notes as you read and wondered about them? These notes and markings, called marginalia, are the basis of Molly Springfield's interactive installation in Flashpoint Gallery. This installation explores the relationship readers have with books, through notes and scribbles left behind. To create her large-scale drawings, Molly first photocopies the marginalia. She then enlarges them and traces over certain parts to create detailed graphite drawings. These large-scale drawings become a new level of commentary on the original text, as words are broken across panels, repeated, or omitted. This annotation of annotation, as it were, serves as a commentary on the use of language and our connection to paper books in the digital age.

Molly has been working with marginalia since 2007. Typically she asks people to submit their own marginalia with an explanation of what it means to them. Her current show, however, takes advantage of Flashpoint Gallery's position across the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. She asked library patrons to contribute examples of marginalia they found in books they borrowed from the library. These submissions were anonymous and removed the personal connections that were associated with her other marginalia work. Throughout the month of May, visitors can browse these marginalia and contribute their own. Additionally, Molly will hold "office hours" in the gallery every Saturday (including May 9th, after her talk), where anyone can go to contribute submissions or discuss the archive with her.

Molly Springfield received her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She has had solo exhibitions in galleries around the world, including Galerie Thomas Zander in Cologne, Germany. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and other collections. She participated in Skowhegan in 2006 and received several DCCAH Artist Fellowships, one of which supports the current exhibition.

The Marginalia Archive opened at Flashpoint on May 1st and runs through the end of the month.