Ali Aschman: Unnatural Growth
@ Dittmar Memorial Gallery
Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL
Opening Thursday, January 7th, from 4.30PM - 6.30PM
On view through Wednesday, February 10th
In ‘Unnatural Growth’, Ali Aschman presents animations, sculptures and works on paper featuring fragmented body parts, braided hair transforming into gnarled roots and vines, naked bodies that sink and rise in various states of unraveling, and enigmatic clothed figures that tether and bind them. In the opening passages of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca,’ the narrator describes the spread of untended plants and trees surrounding her former home as “unnatural growth,” despite this being a case of nature returning to its autonomous state. Aschman understands this personification of nature as a violent and unruly force in relation to the book’s central character, Rebecca, who refused to live according to patriarchal society’s expectations. The works in ‘Unnatural Growth’ reflect the artist’s struggle with tropes in art and literature that oppressively tie women’s bodies to the natural world, but are nonetheless aesthetically seductive.
An opening reception will be held on January 7, 4.30 – 6.30PM.
The artist will give a gallery talk and stop-motion puppet-making workshop on January 13, 4.30 – 6PM.
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