Slippage of a Strand
February 1, 2020 – May 10, 2020
Guest Curator: Elizabeth Rooklidge
Slippage of a Strand, a collection of new and recent works by Flavia D’Urso, is grounded in the intersection of physical, emotional, and cultural experiences of the queer female body. With sculpture, mixed media on paper, and video, the exhibition presents interpretations of the body that destabilize expectations of sameness and insist on their own existence.
D’Urso positions the human as a hybrid by abstracting its physical forms and using the animal body and objects as surrogates for the human. The artist’s work repurposes materials such as salt, iodine, horse hair, and blood meal to draw on their inherent bodily associations while pushing them beyond their conventional function. These materials are combined with terra cotta and paper, as well as packing foam and latex, to present ghostly, abject forms that simultaneously invoke seduction and repulsion.
Repetition and replication feature prominently in the artist’s practice. These gestures suggest systems intended to effect sameness and the production of the ideal. D’Urso’s works, however, rupture such expectations with their failure to replicate recognizable objects with perfection. Actions such as licking and sprouting of hair—here seemingly aimless—further confuse assumptions about the body’s function. As the bodies in Slippage of a Strand assert their presence and the value of sameness falls apart, D’Urso deftly dissects, digests, and re-presents expectations of female and queer identities.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Flavia D’Urso is a Sicilian American artist working in sculpture, video and mixed media to create bodily assemblages to animate potential ways of being and embrace the rich territory of failure, breakage, and degenerating processes of production as inherently queer and feminized strategies of survival. D’Urso received her MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco and her BA from Skidmore College in New York. She was the recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship Award in 2018. D’Urso’s work has been exhibited at the San Diego Art Institute, Bread & Salt Gallery, and The Front Gallery in San Diego, Minnesota Street Projects, Root Division and Embark Gallery in San Francisco, ConArtist Gallery in New York, as well as Nova Gallery in Weimar Germany. D’Urso lives and works in San Diego.