Semi Precious / Informed

Rachel Bernstein


Title Semi Precious / Informed
Details Acrylic, photomontage, papiér machê
Website n/a

In keeping with much of Rachel’s work, these two sculptures celebrate her keen appreciation of the questions that close inspection of the human body can evoke.  Are they beautiful, or are they grotesque? Are they fragile or indestructible? Each is offered as an amorphous object of gentle intrigue, neither meant to attract or repel, but rather to challenge what is worthy of our gaze.   The forms are simple abstractions of female genitalia, the most eroticized and forbidden part of the body.  Here, however, sexual contemplation is complicated by superimposed fragments of other body parts, including hands, muscles, and legs.  These elements are sometimes eroticized too, in life: we paint nails, expose legs, and tone muscles to advertise the promise of those delights hidden from view.  That logic is inverted in these works.  Inspection of these vaginal forms brings the viewer outward, holographically, to other anatomical details.  Desire is usurped by a dizzying play of forms that transform elements in our economy of attraction into items of an entirely different kind of aesthetic allure.