NEW YORK, NY.- Fridman Gallery
presents In Place, an exhibition of new sculpture and installation by Rachel Mica Weiss. The title of the show references both acts done in placeand 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 barriersreal, self-imposed, and imaginaryare 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 threadsfar too delicate for their task.
In Place expands Weisss 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 viewers shadow onto the walls 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 ones bodyany bodycan 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.
Rachel Mica Weiss was born in Rockville, Maryland. She received her B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College in 2008 and her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012. She is the recipient of The San Francisco Foundation Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts, awarded to Bay Area graduate students of exceptional promise, and she has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and at Village des Arts in Dakar, Senegal. She has exhibited her work at venues such as SOMArts Cultural Center, the San Francisco Arts Commission gallery, and the Fiber Philadelphia Biennial. Her work has appeared in such publications as the Bad at Sports blog, China's Contemporary Artists Magazine, Peru's El Grito Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Rachel Mica Weiss currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY as a resident of the chashama Studio Program.