Solo Presentation at NADA Miami with Mrs.
Each of the 9 sculptures and wall reliefs created for this presentation take cues from the theatricality, obscenity, pleasure, delicacy and heaviness induced by performing femininity. That induction sits within the space of the reliquary, the sacred site and the canonization of saints and their stories. Many of these pieces carry a direct relationship with a cast of female saints, some well known and some arcane.
The materiality of the work is married to the pomp of the church through velvet, stone and candles, but twists itself into a stage set or display window through the use of contemporary materials such as silicone, leather, and mirrors. St. Lucy’s alabaster eyeballs sit atop a silicone platter, balancing in a monumental stage with can-can legs. Leather madonna lilies lie across a delicate table, their stems snaking down drain holes, evoking the ghost of Maria Goretti who appeared to her attacker in a dream, bringing him white lilies that ignited in flames.
These summoned saints are characterized by their shared unwillingness to follow a forced, gendered path. Some, like Wilgefortis, altered their bodies to avoid marriage and were brutally punished, or even crucified, for doing so. Well-timed stigmatas appeared. Hildegard of Bingen joined a monastery, becoming a visionary writer and mystic medical practitioner. All of the figures illustrated in these works took it upon themselves to push against the very institution that ultimately canonized their sainthood. The sculptures and reliefs created with them in mind use symbols of their patronage together with fragments of their bodies to interweave the simultaneous pain and levity of their stories. The result is provocative; part spectacle, part sacred garret.