My work explores materials and processes that reveal a complicated relationship between verifiable exterior manifestations and the private interior experience. Former studies in biology and chemistry foreground an investigative approach in which research and experimentation are synchronous with making. A commitment to materiality results in highly complex webs of background, observation, meaning, and imaginings which fragment and collapse in unexpected ways. Rearticulations and reappropriations emerge as I sift through this debris, digesting the remnants.
More recently, I have been contending with personal subject matter, putting my experiences with religion, domesticity, and chronic illness through this digestive process. Rituals feature heavily in all three, and I am drawn to the ways in which repetitive performances function as contracts written on the body. These exterior communications are meant to reflect the internal, and yet it seems closer to a constant renegotiation. Like the skin they are ascribed upon, there are inconsistencies—pores, portals, and gaps which can reveal the character of these conflicts. I view these inconsistencies as opportunities with the potential to invert or transform prior understanding and given truths.
Bringing these ideas into a physical form requires an interdisciplinary approach, though the result is most often sculptural. Mold making techniques and casting materials as well as fibers relate to the concept of spatial fluidity and in-betweenness that I’m investigating. Always, my body is central to the work, and I frequently return to my knowledge of human physiology and my fascination with anatomy as a starting point. Resolved objects often evoke or directly reference cellular frameworks and bodily forms. Other times, the work implies human action on or with the object in form of repetitive gestures.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School at The Art Institute of Chicago, a dramatic departure from a former existence that was devoted to family, military service, and traditional values. This dismantling has inspired a quest of being, and I am still in the process of realizing an identity free from the effects of the male dominated hierarchical structures of Catholicism, conservatism, and traditional family structures. This unnerving suspension fuels my artistic practice as the former “I” disintegrates, and I engage the shifting intersections between myself and past experiences. I have recently become interested in art as a social practice, as a way to process my response to social and political injustice and bear witness to a collective experience. My participation in group exhibitions this year engaged with the war in Ukraine and the repeal of Roe vs. Wade. Additionally, teaching has become a more prominent aspect of my practice, as I acknowledge my privileged access to education and commit myself to the democratization of knowledge.
© Lillian Heredia