January 16 – May 16, 2018
Roger W. Rogers Gallery
“Being is a becoming. And this becoming does not achieve stabilization even with death. Long after a given being has ceased to be physically in the world, it remains there, mnemonically ‘housed’ in all of the psyches that have ever affirmed it. In each of those psyches, it is not a coherent and stable entity, but a constellation of diverse and highly particularized sounds and images, caught up in a ceaseless process of flux and transformation." –Kaja Silverman
In her exhibition Lucia, Chelsea Couch presents images and objects that must find a way to exist. Expanding an experimental narrative structure into the form of an exhibition, the installation offers faceted insights on the embodied experience of an anonymous woman. The works collectively explore the fallacy of regarding an individual as a fixed, wholly encapsulated and knowable entity by drawing their inspiration from a collection of short stories—fictional yet uncannily mirroring the author's own traumas. This exploration of a woman through both truth and fiction mines her existence through an ontological lens, fascinated by her experiential, sensorial movement through space and time. Offering various sightlines, Lucia's truths remain unspoken yet they have been given a voice.
The installation collectively offers insights filtered through so many layers of interpretation and creation that their origin point has become nomadic and pixelated. There is a sense of place, imprints of objects that may have inhabited this person's life, and glimpses into both psychological and physical spaces she may have experienced. In gathering these potential imprints of Lucia's existence, we are presented with the option of engaging our own empathy through her speculative reality—one tinged with loneliness and a longing for emancipation.
Chelsea Couch is a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (BFA, 2013). She received her MFA in Studio Art at University of Oregon in 2017. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Expanded Forms at Willamette University. More of her work can be seen on her website: http://www.chelseacouch.com/.