“If the body is no longer a site of otherness but of identification, then we have urgently to become reconciled with it, repair it, perfect it, turn it into an ideal object.”
– Jean Baudrillard
T293 presents Electric Affinities, a group show that brings together new artworks by Erica Mahinay, Dylan Rose Rheingold, Amy Stober and Michelle Uckotter.
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Presenting recent and new works by four female artists, the group exhibition Electric Affinities celebrates the possibilities of connections between bodies, being them human or not. Through different practices and materials such as textile paintings, oil paintings, cast-made objects and ready-made sculptures, the artists differently honor the experience of being human, of being a living body in space and its relation to others. The sensual and intimate qualities of the works are expressed mainly by inanimate bodies, resignifying their meanings in our perception. The dialogue between the artworks is conceived as a reconciliation with our own senses, discussing our relationship with both material or immaterial presences of our quotidianity.
The works by Erica Mahinay (b. 1986, California) draws attention to the senses, conjuring visual encounters out of physical experience. Translucency, sheen, and porosity are some of the qualities that demonstrate how Mahinay engages the body’s inherent corporeal intellect. Contemporary neuroscience supports the notion that upon encountering visual art, the intertwining of the senses leads to more expansive bodily sensations. Smooth, permeable, wet, dry, sticky, powdery, seeping and transforming surfaces entwine with one another in compositions that are at times abstract, at times suggestive of subtle figuration on the cusp of legibility. In these borderlands, touch serves as the implicit compass for navigating our human experience in which the sensual is inseparable from the perceptual and conceptual.
The paintings of Dylan Rose Rheingold (b. 1997, New York) explore girlhood and nostalgia as they act as outlets for self-reflection and storytelling, exploring mundane moments in our public and private lives. Her practice is heavily influenced by the concept of identity and her personal experiences as a young woman, especially as they relate to memory, intimacy, psychology and American contemporary culture. Through a non-linear narrative, she probes fictional scenes and subjects inspired by her past, in order to investigate the idea of otherness through a feminine lens.
Through her cast sculptures, Amy Stober (b. 1994, New Jersey) is interested in how we express our identities through our possessions, as well as how we shape our identities with the influence of material objects. Stober’s practice combines mold-making and painting into a processional series of steps, that through repetition and self-prescribed mechanics aims to process personal identity and our relationships with material things. Focusing on handbags, her most recent series reproduces an artifact with strong ties to gender expression, underlining a highly intimate interaction with the female body.
Michelle Uckotter (b. 1992, Baltimore) presents a series of ready-made sculptures resignifying our relation to everyday objects, attributing these figures human traits and attitudes. Known for her paintings of faceless female bodies, Uckotter plays upon certain structures and cliches you find in horror movies and literature. Through this new series of sculptures, Uckotter activates the space around them, without evoking a specific narrative, but just creating a simple set up by which the viewer is attracted and, in a way, upon closer inspection, repulsed.
Electric Affinities, July 14 – September 16, 2022. Photo: Daniele Molajoli