The exhibition originates from the book Sonja Thomsen published in 2020 titled “You will find it where it is: a reader”: a complex and layered meditation that combines artistic practice, scientific questions and feminist theory through alternative gazes: from eighteenth-century mathematician Maria Agnesi and nineteenth-century writer Margaret Fuller to Lucia Moholy’s photography and Maria Nordman’s conceptual sculpture, passing through Goethe’s color theory and Thomsen’s own life experiences. The title of the exhibition, “By Her Own Movement,” refers to the book “Laugh of Medusa” (1975) by feminist critic Hélène Cixous, who invites women to liberate their bodies from the pre-established language based on a conventional and purely masculine view of society. Through a narrative composed of spatial and temporal multiplicity and through the prominence of light as material and metaphor, Sonja leads the viewer to new reflections and to the possibility of imagining new post-patriarchal futures.
Sonja Thomsen (1978) is an American artist and organizer manifesting mass and co-authoring meaning. Her multifaceted practice choreographs light; in image, object and architecture. Lines of inquiry into scientific epistemologies and feminist politics are shaped by her profound personal experiences and are articulated in an object-based practice which encompasses books, installations, mobiles, and images. She is a mother working in abstraction, trained in the sciences, whose practice creates space for radical wonder. Thomsen’s publication ‘You will find it where it is: a reader’ was published by Poor Farm Press in 2020. She is currently Associate Professor, Adj at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.