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Upperplayground News

ANATOMIC EMBROIDERY BY JUANA GOMEZ

by Ariadna Zierold

juana gomez, santiago, chile, embroidery, embroidered, anatomy, anatomic, body, bodies, photos, fabric, weave, upper playground

Santiago, Chile based artist Juana Gómez uses weaving and embroidery to explore themes of genealogy, mythology and biology in her own female lineage. She embroiders the central nervous system over faded photographs of the human body. After printing her photos on fabric, she goes in with a needle and thread and stitches veins, musculature, and neural pathways that flow together in a harmonious network.

juana gomez, santiago, chile, embroidery, embroidered, anatomy, anatomic, body, bodies, photos, fabric, weave, upper playground

Through a profound process of performance which is born of her own appearance, she works through transfer, re-contextualizing its value. Through the interaction of different systems of appropriation and reinterpretation, her body changes from a translucent and directly visual experience into a philosophical reading. The final result resembles a subtle drawing or painting, because of the faint but accurate impression of her body in the raw weave of the fabric, but carries the accuracy of the inherent processes that characterize photography.

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SCULPTURES UNDONE BY ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW

by Ariadna Zierold

alina szapocznikow, sculpture, body, surreal, poland, upper playground

Alina Szapocznikow was born in 1926 in Kalisz, Poland. After surviving three concentration camps during WWII, she trained at studios in Prague and the École des Beaux-arts in Paris. She first began showing her work in 1950 and held her first two-person show at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, in 1957. Szapocznikow, along with two other artists, was selected to represent Poland at the Venice Biennale in 1962. A year later, she moved to Paris, where she continued to live until her untimely death in 1973 at the age of 47.

alina szapocznikow, sculpture, body, surreal, poland, upper playground

Szapocznikow radically reconceptualized sculpture as an imprint not only of memory but also of her own body. Though her career effectively spanned less than two decades, Alina left behind a legacy of provocative objects that evoke Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, and Pop art. Her tinted polyester casts of body parts, often transformed into everyday objects like lamps or ashtrays; her poured polyurethane forms; and her elaborately constructed sculptures, which at times incorporated photographs, clothing, or car parts, all remain as wonderfully idiosyncratic and culturally resonant today as when they were first made.

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