Thursday, January 28, 2010

Erica Riccardelli's Orchestrated Misbehavior opening at Evolve Urban Arts (1375 Maryland Ave)

Evolve Urban Arts Project Presents
Erica Riccardelli: Orchestrated Misbehavior
February 6, 2010 – March 27, 2010
Opening reception: February 13, 4-7pm

The Evolve Urban Arts Project (located in the Pierce School Lofts at 1375 Maryland Ave) is pleased to sponsor the first solo exhibition in the Washington, DC area of photographer Erica Riccardelli (MFA, 2004).

The genesis of Orchestrated Misbehavior stems from Ms. Riccardelli’s penchant for carefully arranging her pictorial components into fanciful tableaux vivants. Born in Germany, this self-described “army brat” spent most of her formative years transferring between her father’s multiple postings throughout the U.S. On the long car rides spent driving from one “home” to another “home”, she passed time by gazing at the landscape whirring by, imagining herself as a princess, or a damsel imbued with magical powers. These childhood fantasies now provide her adult mind with intellectual opportunities to bring disjointed memories, fantasies and hair-brained ideas to a fruition captured on film. With a self-described “fondness for the absurd”, Ms. Riccardelli inserts herself into engaging juxtapositions that simultaneously reflect her dark humor and romantic aesthetic.
This exhibition includes images from two ongoing series of work. Migration is a Promise posits that species’ biological impulse to migrate creates a form of order in an often chaotic world – a form of order which “promises” the continuation of life. To investigate this behavior, the artist began her own migration, traveling into the forest where she becomes the protagonist in ritualized performances caught on film. The second series, Petite Mort/e, examines the subtle ironies in language used to describe human biological processes involved in both the beginning and end of life. Petite mort (“little death”) is a French phrase used to describe the physical and mental characteristics of an orgasm. Here Riccardelli toys with the idea that the moment of orgasm, like the moment of death, is an instant when we slip away from conscious reality. Using a smattering of props, a 4x5 view camera and her own body as a corpse, she creates staged, post-mortem images of women passed( or petite morte) in scenes ranging from made-for-TV dramatics to darkly humorous.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 1 – 4pm. Other times are available through appointment.

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