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Lauren Kalman: Blooms, Effloescence and other dermatological embellishments & projections

Exhibition  /  01 Jun 2009  -  25 Jun 2009
Published: 29.06.2009
Sienna Gallery
Management:
Sienna Patti
Lauren Kalman. Ring: Projection, 2008. Inkjet Print, framed. 20' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Ring: Projection, 2008
Inkjet Print, framed
20" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
(...) She hopes to use her art to affect social thought. By creating objects and images that are unconventional in their relationship to the body she is questioning traditional values.(...)

Artist list

Lauren Kalman
Lauren Kalman grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her MFA in Art, from the Ohio State University and received her BFA, with a focus in metals, from Massachusetts College of Art. She has taught at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and has held the position of Assistant Professor at Watkins College of Art and Design. Her international exhibition record includes a solo exhibition at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, in Buenos Aires. Her work was recently added to the collection of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

She hopes to use her art to affect social thought. By creating objects and images that are unconventional in their relationship to the body she is questioning traditional values. In making her work she has become more aware of the values she ascribes to her body and the objects used to adorn it. Through her work, She hopes to communicate alternative thought about material worth, social custom, and the body

Projection
Projection is an installation of images, sculptural objects, and video that blur the boundaries between adornment and disease. The jewelry objects take the form of tumors or cysts. These works investigate the often-corrosive relationship between jewelry, commodity objects, the imaged body, and the physical body. In Projection the format of the images draws from methods employed in medical and advertising imagery. The videos draw from historical medical etchings and lithographs that are allegorical in their approach to describing disease and the body.

The imaged body iconizes the human form. The imaged body denies physicality; it is complete, a continuous surface, and an infallible skin. It preaches the virtues of visually perceptible self-perfection. Imaged bodies are idols to model the self. But the physical body is both transgressive and can be transgressed. It spills, tears, infects, expands and contracts through the skin. Our subconscious self can also penetrate the controlled façade. In spite of our conscious desire to emulate iconic ideals our personality quarks, flaws, and social deviations twitch their way to visibility.
As a model for the physical body the image is deceptive. Imaged bodies are designed, manipulated and static, qualities that the living human form resists. Attempts to emulated images are often futile. We rarely achieve the perfect body, balance socially inscribed gender rolls with capitalistic career goals, or obtain the advertised promise of unadulterated happiness.

The objects alongside imaged bodies become inextricably connected to the body. In the case of jewelry the brilliance, indelibility and unoxidizing surface of gold has come the signify beauty, purity, and immortality. I feel these qualities also apply to commodity and fashion objects. This link is strengthened by its presence in images of idealized bodies. To appropriate these qualities gold, for example, is purchased and is applied to individual's body. This reflects a desire to amend the imperfections and impermanence of the physical human form through the display talismanic commodities.


Blooms, Effloescence and other dermatological embellishments

My work pulls from discourses centered on the imaged body, consumer culture, body aesthetics, and illness. In my projects, through the production of personal objects, photography, video, and performance, these divergent discourses are visually linked.
The imaged body refers to photographs of the body, in advertising and in medicine, as well as mental conceptualizations of the body. I see the imaged and imagined as conceptually linked. In both cases, as a model for the physical body, the visualization is deceptive. The imaged body is stylized, static, manipulated, and often an amalgam of bodily ideals and contemporary design aesthetics. These are all qualities that the physical form resists. Attempts to emulate images of bodies are often futile especially when that imaged body is a romanticized archetype. What is surprising about imaged bodies are the similarities between images that intend to project ideals and those that display subversive or even abject bodies. Fore example medical imagery, pornography, and advertising display anatomy, often using similar positions and compositions. Contextual cues are necessary to clarify how the bodies are interpreted. These include the format of an image, such as medium and location, and the placement of objects (or lack of) alongside the body in an image.

Objects and their relationship to the body play an integral role in negotiating the disconnect between idealized images of the body and the physical body. By surrounding our bodies with objects that are seen in images alongside the ideal body we hope to amend the imperfect reality of our own form. Some of the most obvious examples of this are the placement of consumer objects (jewelry, clothing, electronics) next to romanticized bodies in advertising, which are then purchased and placed in relation to our own bodies. The attributes of those objects, fashionable, beautiful, and timeless, are projected onto the body. The objects take on talismanic characteristics. Owning and specifically wearing these objects is a way to appropriate from them the qualities we covet. For example, in the case of jewelry, gold's brilliance, indelibility, and its unoxodising surface signify beauty, purity, and immortality, qualities that are also desirable in the body. The objects, alongside photographed bodies, become inextricably connected to our conceptualization of the body in general.

In my current work I am replicating and transforming disease through illustration, jewelry objects and photography. These diseases including acne, cancer, herpes, and syphilis, are presented in my work as jeweled infections, lesions, and soars. They are hybridizations of objects we associate with beauty, status, or wealth, and the grotesque or undesirable aspects of the skin.

Remarks

Selected works and words
This exhibition includes two bodies of Kalman's recent work.
To watch video and see more from these projects, visit laurenkalman.com.
Please contact the gallery with any questions.
Lauren Kalman. Bracelet: Projection, 2008. Inkjet Print, framed. 20' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Bracelet: Projection, 2008
Inkjet Print, framed
20" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Lauren Kalman. Earrings: Projection, 2008. Inkjet Print, framed. 20' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Earrings: Projection, 2008
Inkjet Print, framed
20" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Lauren Kalman. Necklace: Projection, 2008. Inkjet Print, framed. 20' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Necklace: Projection, 2008
Inkjet Print, framed
20" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Lauren Kalman. Body Piece: Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Cystic Acne, Back), 2009. Inkjet print, framed. 26' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Body Piece: Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Cystic Acne, Back), 2009
Inkjet print, framed
26" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Lauren Kalman. Body Piece: Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Nevus Comedonicus), 2009. Inkjet print, framed. 26' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Body Piece: Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Nevus Comedonicus), 2009
Inkjet print, framed
26" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Lauren Kalman. Body Piece: Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Wart), 2009. Inkjet print, framed. 26' x 26'. Lauren Kalman
Body Piece: Blooms, Efflorescence, and Other Dermatological Embellishments (Wart), 2009
Inkjet print, framed
26" x 26"
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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