Nov 10th 2022

Selva Aparicio: Our Garden Remains

@ NEIU Fine Arts Center Gallery

5500 N St Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, Building E

Opening Thursday, November 10th, from 5:30PM - 8:30PM

On view through Friday, November 25th

Exhibition Statement
Our Garden Remains is a solo exhibition by interdisciplinary artist Selva Aparicio that focuses on the ephemerality of life and the temporality of its vessels. Inspired by the lifecycles of living things and the rituals that inform birth, death, celebration, and mourning, Aparicio pushes back against the often-unyielding delineations between these phases to offer opportunities for more intricate explorations of purpose and longevity. Like codas in their own performances, the discarded materials she features shed light on the intricacies of time and the power of remembrance both individual and collective to offer alternative endings that transcend time and place.

This installation invites viewers to consider the durability of memory and its ability to evolve in concert with its surroundings. The installation presents a tapestry of flowers and decorations collected from the garbage of cemeteries in Chicago. Once intimate tributes gathered with care and imbued with the love, grief, and reverence of their curators, they quickly fade to anonymity, embodiments of the very fragility that necessitated their gathering. The pinwheels, teddy bears, and other nonorganic tokens dotted throughout amplify these inextricable messages of mourning and celebration that together resonate more deeply than could any one piece alone. Like the notes of a great coda, these tributes resonate, fade, and blend together to bring closure to a sweeping movement of moments. I miss you. Happy birthday, mom. Forever in our hearts.

Artist Statement
Selva Aparicio is an interdisciplinary artist exploring ideas of memory, intimacy, and the temporality of life through installations that celebrate the cyclicity of the natural world. Working with nature’s ephemera, including cicada wings, oyster shells, and human cadavers, her praxis is an extended death ritual which foregrounds a unique reverence for the discarded. Capturing the meanings imbued in these materials and the rituals informing their significance and sentimentality enables both the facilitation of environmental, social, and political activism through art and the creation of outlets for the public navigation of grief and mourning in a world so defined by loss.

Artist Bio
Selva Aparicio is an interdisciplinary artist working across installation and sculpture to create artwork that digs deeper into ideas of memory, intimacy and mourning. Born and raised in the woods just outside of Barcelona, Spain, she found solace in nature from a young age and cultivated a profound interest in the ephemeral, as inspired by the natural world around her. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015 and her MFA in sculpture from Yale University in 2017. Aparicio’s work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago; Yale Center for British Art; Can Mario Museum, Spain; CRUSH Curatorial, New York; The Kyoto International Craft Center, Japan; Instituto Cervantes, New York; and the Centre de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona. She was awarded the JUNCTURE Fellowship in Art and International Human Rights in 2016, the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize in 2017, and received a MAKER Grant from the Chicago Artist Coalition in 2020. She was also named one of the 2020 breakout artists in Chicago by NewCity Art . In 2022 she was awarded the Chicago Artadia Award.

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