May 6 – June 10, 2017
Opening Reception: May 6, 7 – 9pm
Steve Turner is pleased to present ALAS I WAS CURED, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist Audrey Wollen. Moving through different mediums, Wollen follows the quivering body of Jane Avril (1868-1943) as she appeared in fin de siècle imagery, whether embodying the iconography of female hysteria, surfacing on posters pasted across Paris or in museums, manifesting the erotics of the operating theatre, and later, be reborn in 21st century cinema.
As a teenager admitted into Charcot’s La Salpêtrière psychiatric hospital, Avril watched legendary divas of female madness perform for the foundational physicians of modern day psychoanalysis and neurology. Released as a young woman, she became a star at the infamous Moulin Rouge, immortalized in the drawings and posters of Toulouse-Lautrec. Wollen’s Avril embodies the imagery of art history, popular advertising, and medical pathology, weaving together another possible genealogy of contemporary femininity. Wollen finds kinship within a lineage that both mirrors and dissolves her own, opening up possibilities of relating intimately across time and difference.
Through video, sculpture, photography, and text, the artist bends theory like a soft metal, using it as another kind of material, another kind of surface. She extends her research into larger questions: is it better to be a girl or an image? Can we locate the subtle cleft where our bodies end and objects begin, the buried suture that ties us to thing-hood? The feminine self is no longer relegated to the cornered position of muse, patient, data, or content, but rather, re-presented as an unruly narrator, witness to a dying century. Tracing her own coming-of-age at the turn of the millennium through this lens, Wollen imagines an alternative archive of girlhood, where we dance in hospitals, writhe through the streets, and detonate our own image.
Audrey Wollen earned a BFA from CalArts, Valencia in 2015. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2016); Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles (2016) and Minerva Gallery, Sydney (2016). ALAS I WAS CURED will be Wollen’s debut solo exhibition.
Lives and works in Los Angeles
2013 BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions
Alas I Was Cured, Steve Turner, Los Angeles
Venus of the Mirror, Thesis Solo Exhibition at D301 Gallery, Valencia, CA
I Cannot Be Touched, Human Resources, Los Angeles (with Cali Thornhill DeWitt)
Sad Girl Theory, Sunday Gallery, Los Angeles
Sacred and Profane, D301 Gallery, CalArts, Valencia
Ministry of Internal Affairs, Intimacy as a Text, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Warsaw
Ma, Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles
Fiona Conner Sydney de Jong, Audrey Wollen, Minerva Gallery, Sydney
Before and After Selfies, Parallel: Art and Cinema Festival, Bristol
Cash Machine, FatherSons Gallery, Los Angeles
No New Friends, Sunday Gallery, Los Angeles
Womanhouse Anniversary Group Show, CalArts, Valencia
Readings and Lectures
Feminism 4.0: What Feminist Art Looks Like Now, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), Los Angeles
What Were You Expecting, SPRAWL Reading Series, CalArts, Los Angeles
Daddy City: A Night of Poetry and Prose with 8 Miraculous Girls, Sade Gallery, Los Angeles