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APPOSITIONS: STILL / BIRTH / SHIT: LORNA WILLIAMS
IMAGE: Lorna Williams, appositions: still / birth / shit, 2013, installation view. Photo: Jason Mandella HI-RES
On View: May 18 — June 29, 2013
Reception: May 18, 2013   6-8pm
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DODGEgallery is pleased to present appositions: still / birth / shit, Lorna Williams’ second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Williams will be giving an artist talk at the gallery on Saturday, June 22nd at 4pm with Rich Blint.

Williams’ anthropomorphic sculptures are meticulous amalgams of unlikely and often provocative material juxtapositions. In appositions: still / birth / shit, Williams continues to use the body as her primary subject while focusing on the specific and essential processes of birthing and digesting. Plastic teeth, locked hair, root systems, pipes, stones, thorns and snakeskin, are some of the artist’s materials, assembled to form the ecosystem of each piece and a collective narrative throughout the body of work.

In held, djet, fabricated from the carcass of a taxidermied reptile, Williams compresses metaphors of life, death and re-animation into the form of a digestive track. The piece bears an intimate acceptance of life cycles, as the snake was once the artist’s pet living, dying and then re-born. Revealing what is literally hidden beneath the surface, Williams’ unflinchingly embraces bodily function. The serpentine creature is known for its own unique digestive processes; an ideal material for the twisting, turning intestines. held, djet alludes to human movement through life—gathering, breaking apart, taking what is essential and discarding the waste.

A large assembled rooster, ro-mer-ee’s plumage, stands perched atop a pedestal in the gallery. Made from bike parts, violins, chains, rooster feet, pen tips and razor blades, ro-mer-ee’s plumage greets the viewer at eye level. Created in response to the work of Romare Bearden, an artist whose process inspires Williams, the piece is an assemblage of striking materials that call attention and shift focus from different vantage points. Williams writes,

Like Bearden, who allows his viewers to experience the creative process of transformation in his work through his shifting sense of scale, his layered images and his considered timing within his compositions, I want viewers to see my hand in the assemblage of these materials and to consider the anatomy and processes of play and experimentation involved in drawing with various objects.

Created for The Harlem Studio Museum’s Bearden Project, and here exhibited in the context of the artist’s work, ro-mer-ee’s plumage shows Williams’ interest in what lies beneath the surface, allowing the insides to play an equal role to the decorative “plumage”.

Williams’ collaged sculptures serve as a means to express specific, and at times, personal narratives alongside those of the collective human condition. Focusing on the processes of digestion and birthing, she offers the matter-of-fact reality of each as a means to express their symbiotic relationship. While birthing creates and builds life, digestion consumes, breaks down and extracts; yet ultimately they find similarity in the simple event of expelling. Williams’ artistic process itself is grounded in both mechanisms as she accumulates, fuses, extracts, creates, and releases.

roots. & rigor.
2013
written, directed and edited by tiona m.

Filmmaker/artist tiona m. wrote, directed and edited roots. & rigor. featuring Williams. Peeling back the layers between the finished object and maker, the video depicts Williams in the creative process. Her body “digests” her own work, adding, fragmenting, re-forming and birthing.