Bigindicator

Caroline Dahlberg

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20180306225103-screen_shot_2017-11-03_at_10
Boundaries and Fluids, 2017 One On One Performance
20180306224932-decomposition
De/Composition, 2017 Youtube Video Made By The Artist, Set For Filming Video, Decomposing Banana In A Vacuum Sealed Bag
20180306224935-feeling_through_
Feeling Through, 2017 Performance, Textile
20180306224955-it_had_to_be_you
It Had to be You, 2014 Performance, Bread Dough, Textile, Secret Second Performer
20180306225004-self_portrait
Self Portrait, 2014 Mixed Media Approx. 3'x4'x2.5'
20180826180052-sketches_of_atoms
20180306225006-synaesthetic_therapy
Synaesthetic Therapy, 2018 One On One Performance, Vr Mask Puppet, Lavander Scented Wax, Water Beads
20180306225012-therianthropy
Therianthropy, 2016 Performance, Props, Sound
20180306225037-human_crawl
Therianthropy
20180306225015-untitled_publication
Untitiled Publication, 2017 Text, Velvet, Chocolate, Salt, Artist's Hair
20180306225011-the_horseshoe_crab
The Horseshoe Crab, 2017 Collaborative Performance With Marina Cavadini
20180306225050-img_20170527_191750
20180306225044-img_20170527_180530
20180306225113-to_pieces
To Pieces, 2017 Video
20180826175654-hypochondriac_wide
20180826175657-hypochondriac_perf1
20180826175710-real_and_fake_boulders
20180826175722-in_the_act_of_becoming
Quick Facts
Birthplace
United States
Birth year
1992
Lives in
Chicago, IL
Works in
Chicago, IL
Schools
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2018, MFA Sculpture
VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University), 2014, BFA Sculpture
Bio/Statement

Bio:

Caroline Joy Dahlberg is a performer and sensory choreographer. She has exhibited work in Richmond, VA, Boston, MA, and Chicago, IL. Her work focuses on the human body, drawing from her interest in cognitive psychology and queer feminist theory. As such, her early sculptural work focused on wearables and performance. Her material choices were influenced by the DIY house show culture in Richmond, VA. She became infatuated with the aesthetic of residential basements and living rooms transformed into installation spaces by using whatever materials were on hand. While living in Boston, MA Dahlberg worked in the box office of a children’s puppet theater, an experience which influenced her work to adopt the vocabulary of theater and a playful tone. Under this influence, her sculptures become props and installation becomes set design.  Her current practice uses writing as a way of making metaphors, drawing from poetry and contemporary fables.

Statement:

My objects have lumpy bodies. They are endearing and ham-fisted, soft and fleshy, and empathetically pathetic. Their textures have the quality of something wet and internal, emphasizing the skin that contains organs that contain liquid. They propose that selves are inherently split in two: our social selves (the who of who we are) and our physical selves (the proprioception with which we feel our embodiment). The costuming of self-image holds in our bodily materials like a metaphoric skin, with sagging or bulging areas that call attention to the fact that our physical selves are consistently in flux. When communicating with another person, this costuming acts as a barrier.  Our physiological drives and affects are limited to the vocabulary of how our identities should behave.

My work uses theatricality as a method of playing out proposed alternatives for how we could interact with one another, similarly to how fetish subcultures use role-play to transgress normative scripts. Casts of characters and objects mimic familiar forms, rendering them equal parts humorous and uncanny. A human that becomes a creature then becomes a human again reveals parts that are often unseen while in transition. Objects fall apart and back together, demonstrating their instability. The performer makes eye contact and approaches, creating tension in the room. Walking into one of these installations feels like walking in on someone in the middle of something: in the act of becoming, act of decomposing, shifting several levels of containment to keep together. There is a particular anxiety to watching liquid dripping out of its container and onto the floor. With this lack of structure, intimacy becomes a comfort. By dissolving barriers and binaries, we can imagine ourselves entangled with other bodies and environments. By proposing kinesthetic engagements with visceral materials, I am looking for a way to directly access empathetic connections. My work looks to establish closeness that imagines itself breaching thin fabric walls, and getting under your skin. Recently I have used writing to frame metaphors of intimacy that zoom into the molecular and out into social ecology, describing how bodily and environmental materials merge together, losing themselves in one another.  

This suggestion of merging as intimacy is comforting and terrifying, simultaneously representing the closeness of another and the loss of self. This form of intimacy is valuable in how it grounds us into the world and allows us to form meaningful connections with other people. For my future works, I am looking to expand the feeling of one-on-one intimacy to a broader transmission of affect. Drawing pathways through the identifiable, allowing overlap and excess, making space for two bodies to touch.

 

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