Marwa Abdul-Rahman: Eternal Return
October 16 - November 26, 2019
Artist Talk: November 7, 6 p.m.
Abdul-Rahman creates sculptures out of clothes deemed too tattered for donation. She transforms them through a process of manipulation using string, wire, glue, lacquer and paint until they become compressed, tense and precarious figures with anthropomorphized characteristics. While they read as sculptures first and foremost, they are as much about object-making as they are about painting. Their surfaces are a rich complexion of colors, textures, values and materials that in some areas unify form and in others, create chasms. Abdul-Rahman’s source materials (discarded clothes) are nearly completely transformed, but there remains a sense of familiarity in the works. It takes the viewer some time to realize that one sculptures is merely a single pair of jeans, manipulated to the point of near complete abstraction.
The title of the exhibition comes from Nietzsche’s idea of eternal return or recurrence which posits that time is cyclical; that life and all of our experiences–traumatic, ecstatic, mundane–will repeat ad infinitum. Abdul-Rahman’s work asks us to ponder whether this prospect is frightening or liberating; confusing or clarifying, while simultaneously inviting us to consider the implication of this idea for our bodies, our lives and the universe.
Abdul-Rahman is a mixed media artist who received her BA at Yale University before going on to complete an MFA at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. Her work focuses on perception and transformation, often blurring or expanding boundaries, both as a way to express a physical manifestation of freedom and to draw awareness to the idea of art as a constructed form. With these contrasting ideas, she strives to spark timely conversations about the malleability of truth and how it is informed by one’s experiences and surroundings. Her most recent solo shows were on view at Museum as Retail Space (MaRS), and Wilding Cran Gallery, both in Los Angeles. Abdul-Rahman currently lives and works in Los Angeles.