Rachel Frank Studio Visit February 18th 2009

Studio Fuse’s recent studio visit was at Rachel Frank’s studio.

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I have been using the techniques of wood parquetry and inlay to explore how intricate designs such as Islamic and optical illusion patterns can formally inform and subvert three-dimensional sculptures. I am trying to harness the cosmological implications of each of these formal languages in both public and personal frameworks: How the geometry within the platforms connotes violence; how these objects in space deal with the absence and loss of death. Making reference to domestic objects like coffee tables and vanities, I’m trying to suggest how cosmological frameworks can organically penetrate into private spaces. Within the platforms, transformations appear—hundreds of threads are sewn off the edges, while mirrors cross-section patterned fields, both extending and mutating the geometry into imagined space. The mirror boxes, one of which is in “Blurred Folds of a Black Aureole”, are constructed in such a way that the deep space box only reflects light and not any outside images, making the space inside the box appear to go on infinitely. Through these intimate geometries, I am determining how the work can suggest infinite space as a reflection on violence and loss. –Rachel Frank

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2 Responses to “Rachel Frank Studio Visit February 18th 2009”


  1. 1 Stephanie February 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Hey Rachel,

    Found a interesting link to Børre Sæthre’s Unicorn, on a website about taxidermy called Ravishing Beasts, looks interesting…

    http://www.ravishingbeasts.com/home/2009/2/10/brre-sthres-unicorn.html

    And here is a link to Janet Biggs work…

    http://www.jbiggs.com/

    She has done some interesting videos with animals (horses), thought you might want to check these things out.

  2. 2 Amanda Lechner February 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Rachel- – some comments, ideas, and response questions:

    I think some interesting lines of thought came up in your Stdio Visit. I think that more could have been discussed on the topics of mythology and geometry. For thousands of years geometric patterning has been linked to religion and mythology all over the world. In each, the patterns and the mathematics behind them have a metaphorical or metaphysical meaning.
    Questions you may consider:
    -What do the patterns you are using mean to Islam and what does that meaning mean to you?
    -Are there patterns that you could invent or appropriate that would better link up with the personal-political mythology or lexicon you are working with?
    -Does understanding the work rely on access to the meaning of the pattern or is it more important that it acts as a linear/spacial devise that visually connects the more disparate elements in the work?

    Your recent projects seem to be creating mythology in a similar way that the mythologies of history were created-by borrowing.
    Your work seems to relate to several already extant myths/psudomyths/symbologies:
    – Ancient Animalism (maybe Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Native American…)
    -Sacred Geometries
    -Contemporary scientific/psudo scientific ideas (time-space portals, antimatter, dark matter…)
    -American Action Painting and Abstract Expressionism (use of spill, drips for aesthetic and emotional effect)
    -Total Reflective Abstraction (as discussed by Noguchi and Buckminster Fuller and then written about by Josiah McElheny)

    Your studio visit inspired me to think about the following ideas:
    -Non-Narcissistic reflection relating to the void
    -The possibility of feeling empathy with an object
    -the differences between religion, myth, symbology, iconography, belief system, psychoanalysis
    -Mythology as abstraction verses abstraction as mythology…


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