Artist: Lucie Stahl
Venue: dépendance, Brussels
Exhibition Title: Waste
Date: June 3 – June 25, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of dépendance, Brussels. Photos by Sven Laurent.
For her third exhibition at the gallery, Stahl continues working with components arranged on a scanner, later to be printed out and dipped into liquid polyurethane which hardens into a glossy translucent package. While in the past the posters incorporated a wide array of imagery and texts, this new series concentrates on a singular motif of two hands covered in muck pressing small trash bins onto a scanner bed. The trash bins have been heavily and roughly collaged with images from magazines and newspapers depicting various subjects, scenes and scenarios. The collaged elements were edited and arranged to speak either directly or obliquely to their condition of being on the outside of a trash bin and in dirty hands.
One collage for instance depicts the deaf motorcross rider Ashley Fiolek of the WMA (Women’s Motocross Association).
“Looking at Ashley Fiolek, you wouldn’t know she was a speed demon. You wouldn’t know that this teenager with the girl-next-door face loves to tear up the dirt. In a sense you might call Ashley Fiolek a dirt whisperer, but her language is comprised of hand signs and feelings in place of words and sounds.”*
The issue of Stahl’s use of polyurethane and its inability to decompose is given similar treatment in that the material reflects the content of the imagery and vice versa. The artist once mentioned George Lois’ Esquire Magazine cover from Feb. 1976 as inspiration, which shows a naked woman dropped into a trashcan with the headline The New American Woman: Through at 21. Lois quotes the following joke as inspiration for the cover:
“A young Bronx housewife is hanging laundry on the roof of her apartment house. She slips and falls off the roof, landing first in a garbage pail. A Chinese laundryman walks by, spots her shapely legs and peers down. ‘Americans very funny people. ‘ he says, ‘In China, good for ten years yet.’”
Stahl is interested in tracking down a strange, loose narrative of the acutely violent aspects of power and resource distribution that is informed by femaleness. In the show, this female factor runs like a bloody current pulling loose debris in from the shores of a male dominated landscape where shouting is the only way to be heard over the roar of yourself.
* quoted from Robert P. Bennett, Ashley Fiolek, Deaf Motocross Superstar