“There are seams in purgatory” is a collaborative exhibition between the five woman-identifying artists that make up Carnegie Mellon’s MFA Class of 2023: Sarah Bowling, Laura Hudspith, Rosabel Rosalind, Rebecca Shapass, and Caroline Yoo participating with her artist collective Han Diaspora Group. The exhibition is on view at Youngstown State University’s McDonough Museum of Art, January 21 through March 5.
“There are seams in purgatory,” explores the tension of betweenness as a state of both fullness and flux. Betweenness entangles the fluidity of power, the instability of control, the mistranslation of memory, and the inherent fragmentation and transformation that result in the process of becoming. This show challenges the agenda of becoming; a perpetual state of progress that is never quite realized, desired, or admired. There are seams in purgatory exists where the boundaries of identity, intimacy, and power are tested and transgressed. Engaging in a cross-disciplinary dialogue that spans sculpture, drawing, painting, installation and performance, the artists confront questions of betweenness and becoming through celebration, pain, humor, rage, and meditation.
Focusing on the space between bodies and power, Sarah Bowling ascribes memories of touch into concrete, inflatables, and plexiglass questioning the (im)permanence of memory and resilience. Working across sculpture, installation, lens-based performance and text, Laura Hudspith’s work is an invitation to embody an unbodied state; to unfurl, transmute, and reform; to be naked in the face of possibility and to be unafraid. Rosabel Rosalind’s paintings document the metamorphosis of myth, memory and history by unraveling an apocalypse that transcends temporal markers and depicts a world in the process of extinction. Rebecca Shapass’ video and installation works create bio-mythographic, audio-visual worlds where the fissures between personal and collective memory are mined to reveal fragile systems of perception and remembering. The Han Diaspora Group’s photography explores their Korean and American identity, thinking what bodies are given space to belong and become.
Celebrating where these five artists connect the seams of object and agent, sickness and health, manipulation and surrender, mundane and spectacular, truth and artifice, individual and collective. There are seams in purgatory emphasizes that the value of betweenness is not in its ability to arrive at an ultimate embodied goal, but rather to embrace the metamorphoses of identification that are ever in flux.