Linda Ekstrom, "a working backward"
Sherry Frumkin Gallery is pleased to present a working backward, an exhibition of new sculptures and works on paper by Linda Ekstrom that have at their core issues of tenderness, longing and a desire for connection. The exhibition will open October 16 and run through November 20. The artist will be present for a reception from 6 to 9 pm on opening night.
Words have always formed the central subject matter of Ekstrom’s work. Found text lines are illuminated, stitched, deconstructed, rearranged, tangled or obscured. Objects are made of words and text lines that have been weeded out of their context. Bibles are cut, their pages freed. Sacred texts become sacred objects that in their ordinariness ask to be “read” through tactile and visual means, avoiding fixed meanings and reasserting the presence of women.
In “Luce” and “Nestle,” two works the artist created by tangling words taken from writings by groundbreaking linguist, philosopher and psychoanalyst Luce Irigary, as well as in other works like “Eve” and “Mary,” the narrative is interrupted as a way of “listening to the still unspoken words of the other.” (Irigary) In “I You” Ekstrom pays direct tribute to Irigary’s feminist re-working of language. Two appropriated chrome lids nestle side by side in a cloth-bound box, the words “I love” on one and “to you” on the other, offering a way around possession and suggesting freedom between individuals.
Other works like “Open Secrets” reveal things that only the artist knows, but the words are cut apart and scrambled and retain their private nature. “Eternal Return” appropriates a quote of a quote of a quote, leading back around to Neitzsche, who writes, “haven’t we already coincided in the past?”
Linda Ekstrom’s work remains quietly and insistently feminist; from the beginning she collaborated with bees to re-order the patriarchal bias of Judeo-Christian writings, placing a Bible in their hive and allowing their work to reveal deeper layers of the text. She cut out the names of all the women in the bible and affixed them onto squares of silk that were read aloud. Her Menstrual/Liturgical Cycle, a major work from 1994-1998 materialized her own blood on silk and memorialized the dates on the liturgical calendar.
This is Linda Ekstrom’s 5th solo with the gallery.