Counting to Infinity: Maria Molteni April 2022 Exhibition

Counting to Infinity: Maria Molteni

April 2 – 30, 2022

Opening Reception April 2nd, 2022 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

COOP Gallery is pleased to present Counting to Infinity, an exhibition by Maria Molteni.

Counting to Infinity marks a homecoming for Molteni, the first time they’ve exhibited in Nashville. This installation brings them full circle, integrating three looping artworks by the concept of Antiphony, or “Call and Response”. These works send and receive messages to the land, sea, sky and stars. 

Terrestrial Antiphony assembles every stone collected and kept by the artist throughout their life. Plucked from land and seascapes as disparate as Tennessee, Iceland, California, Dalmatian Islands, Hawaii, Atlantic coastlines, and the Philippines, they sit together in an elongated ring that echoes the orbit of a dwarf planet named Sedna. 

Lunar Antiphony presents a work of movement for video in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland captured the week that Covid 19 was first detected in the United States. The artist responds improvisationally to the environment and a stone boat that appeared and disappeared with tidal shifts throughout the day. An underlying soundtrack of lunar recordings plays throughout the piece. 

Celestial Antiphony creates a cycle of beats on the fingers and illustrates a childhood shortcut for praying the Rosary when beads have gone missing. The artist has returned to the modular, rhythmic orb-based practice of prayer in reclamation of its transcendence of boundaries of faith and constructs of time. Molteni has created drawings of their hands, positioned to hold each stone, but with stones removed. Colored fingers and groupings of 10 drawings count the 50 “Hail Mary” prayers that complete one full Rosary loop. 

More about the Artist 

Maria Molteni (They/She, b 1983, Nashville) is a queer transdisciplinary artist, educator and mystic. They are the grandchild of Tennessee square dancers, stunt motorcyclists, quilters, beekeepers and opera singers of various European backgrounds. Their practice has grown from formal studies in Painting, Printmaking and Dance to incorporate research, ritual and play-based collaboration. 

Molteni enjoys tactile and tactical problem solving, giving shape to the unseen. From fiber to found-object sculpture, textile to video, performance to publication, they choose media that combine conceptual rigor, formal satisfaction and spiritual depth. Their intuitive practice spans movement-based and diagrammatic ritual alchemy, astrology, tarot, dreamwork and color magic. Molteni pictures themself as a Phys Ed coach for visionary communities like Shakers, Bauhaus or Black Mountain College. 

Molteni has exhibited at numerous galleries and museums as well as basements, meadows, sidewalks and seascapes across the globe. More formal institutions include The Momentary Contemporary Art Museum (Bentonville, AK), MFA & ICA Boston (MA), Project Rowhouses (Houston, TX), Den Frei Contemporary Art Center (Copenhagen, Denmark), Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Cambridge, MA), NGBK (Berlin), Fruitlands Museum (Harvard, MA), Museum of Design (Atlanta, GA), Conduit Gallery (Dallas, TX), Flower Head (LA, CA), Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA), and Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg, MA) and Space Gallery (Portland, ME).