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Sarah Rossiter – Part I: In Amerika…. (Works)

Selected Works

Sarah Rossiter

Sarah Rossiter – Part I: In Amerika….
November 16 – December 18, 1996

Sarah Rossiter – Part I: In Amerika…. Press Release

This exhibition is comprised of two parts to emphasize the different bodies of Sarah Rossiter’s work, completed in the past six years. Part I, IN AMERIKA . . . consists of new color photographs, sculpture, and drawings; while Part II, I OBJECT highlights early black and white self-portraits, as well as earlier sculpture and drawing studies. Parallels can  be made in recent art history between Rossiter’s art, and Lee Bontecou, Hannah Wilke, Eva Hesse and Francesca Woodman. Rossiter’s work is also indebted to the Feminist Art Movement.

“IN AMERIKA . . .” refers to the 1971 title of the lesbian chapter in Our bodies, ourselves: “In Amerika They Call Us Dykes”. This is appropriate tot he exiled emotional condition reflected in the photographs and, in contrast, the utopic viison of the sculptures.

The color photographs are of Rossiter with slide projections of industrial containers and chemical-waste plants. The female figure appears gigantic in the midst of the projected landscape, the scale suggesting both a cinematic and surrealist quality. There is a sculptural relationship in the images, between the figure and the containers, which are themselves similar to the sculptures in the exhibition. The confrontation that occurs between the literal figure and the landscapes, and between their figurative meanings suggests a power struggle. To the problem of social oppression and the defunct structure of patriarchy these images visualize solutions.

The sculptures in the installation are made of industrial and domestic materials such as plywood, sheet-metal, rolled plastic, formica and felt. They are large, minimalistic objects, similar in shape to skate-boarding ramps and graphs of waves or curved found in nature. “For me, making sculpture is an attempt to represent a visceral state,” says Rossiter. The viewer experiences the work not as a fixed historical reference, but as a shifting and ephemeral series of emotions.

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