Rachel Mica Weiss
February 21 - March 22, 2014
Fridman Gallery is pleased to present In Place, an exhibition of new sculpture and installation by Rachel Mica Weiss. The title of the show references both —acts “done in place”—and the realities and illusions of restrictions and barriers. Using her signature language of weaving as a point of departure, the artist unfolds a world of tension in which stable structures unravel and barriers—real, self-imposed, and imaginary—are set askew.
Composed of objects that are bound or anchored in place, these works are a series of proposals on the nature of control. Intricately labored components embody the demands, and ultimately the exhaustive poses, of their own making. In Gold Cloak (for Sisyphus), over 500 feet of nylon rope, painstakingly wrapped in gold thread, is crocheted into a hulking chainmail mass and slumped over a leather bar. In the triptych Portraits, Weiss invites identification with the sculptural busts of wind-hewn topographies, enclosed in raw maple frames. Each rock-like surface struggles to protrude from the wall, only to be reined in by a mask of taut, cotton threads—far too delicate for their task.
In Place expands Weiss’s inquiry into the interplay between physical and psychological spaces, between inhabitation and inhibition. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a lurching architectural intervention composed of over 50,000 yards of gleaming tencel thread. As the viewer navigates the imposition of this bold blockade, it gives way to porosity; the threads shift, casting the viewer’s shadow onto the wall’s threaded bars of light and opening a new world beyond this threshold.
Weiss plays upon the slippery connotations of the organic forms she employs and their relationships to the human body to create relatable scenes in which one’s body—any body—can be inserted. Yet her forms, and even the materials from which they are crafted, oscillate among a series of unfixed meanings and modes of being. Feelings of compatibility give rise to the unsettling realization that these objects have a reality all their own, entirely independent of our perception and indifferent to any system of categorization we may project upon them.
In reimagining the interrelation of control, power, submission, and labor, Weiss combines materials and languages to create objects that resist objectification. By conflating states of power and powerlessness, autonomy and servitude, Weiss points to the blurry intersection of these seemingly oppositional states of being.
program of events
Artist in conversation with Ian Cofre: March 7