SDAI, San Diego's only contemporary art center dedicated to artists from Southern California and Northern Baja, presents new work by summer Artist-in-Residence Flavia D’Urso - to reach for another (Touch Points)
The exhibition is comprised of works on paper, sculpture, and video work created in SDAI’s 200 square foot studio during the months of June and July. The pieces created during the residency function as a continuation of D’Urso’s practice that investigates how certain bodies, such as the queer female body, move through the contemporary physical and emotional landscape.
Her new works include sculptures made from salt blocks treated to appear as if they have deteriorated through time or through being licked and gnawed at by mouths and teeth. D’Urso sees salt as an agent of meaning: “Salt is in our bodies, it sits on our skin as a sign of being alive, it is evidence of us being porous and transgressing our own boundedness and it is ever present while exerting ourselves as we move through the world, influencing it and being influenced by it.”
Accompanying the salt lick sculptures are video works of abstract white fields slowly revealing a figure, licking and biting from within, and traversing a boundary of what could also be salt or even the white gallery wall. In this work, the act of licking is used as an activated site of coupling between bodies, ingestion of surroundings and a mode of marking space. In her works on paper, D’Urso maps her own body with iodine, and through embroidering the stained points with horse hair, creates a hybrid space of her own queer female body and the animal body.
D’Urso refers to her works as creatures or bodies and says of them that, “they are a kind of re-constitutive assemblage or effort, never becoming the thing they seem to be hinting at, or meticulously bringing two things together that shouldn’t be, like combining salt and water, or fragile paper and latex with embroidery and hair.”
With to reach for another (Touch Points), Flavia D’Urso makes connections between organic bodily materials and traditional methods while breaking them apart again into imaginative forms that challenge the stability of the bodies they came from.
Flavia D’Urso completed her MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA and earned her B.S. in Studio Art and Psychology from New York’s Skidmore College. She was selected by SDAI as the Matthew J. Mahoney Artist-in-Residence for the summer of 2018.