Soft Bodies | Marianne Burlew + Brianna Gluszak
March 11 - April 4
Reception: Saturday, March 11 @ 3-5 pm
RSVP your attendance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram Live Talk: Thursday, March 16 @ 4 pm, join us on Instagram for a conversation with artist Marianne Burlew, Brianna Gluszak and curator Tiffany April
Marianne Burlew, Smooth Brain Idol, archival print on hot press paper, 11 x 14 in, ed of 100. Framed by Wall Space
Wall Space Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of works by Marianne Burlew and Brianna Gluszak. Working in their respective mediums of digital art, textiles, and blown-glass, Burlew and Gluszak capture the vulnerabilities of social expectations and interactions in our contemporary world of digital communication. Both artists celebrate uncomfortable spaces within ourselves and amongst others; exploring the complexities of intimacy and gender constructs while reframing weakness as strength.
Brianna Gluszak, Peach Bum, tufted rug, 70 x 60 in.
“Bottomless options and opinions call on us to justify why we aren’t our ‘best self’. Every post online serves the message that we aren’t enough; that we should be learning, discerning, advocating, repenting, reflecting, curating and judging everything. The noise of this entertainment allows social media companies to exploit us for our time and our data.
What if we are already enough? What if we don't need to constantly work to overcome our messy selves? Can we allow ourselves the space to slow down and reframe that which we typically see as flawed?” - Marianne Burlew
Marianne Burlew, Pathetic, archival print on hot press paper, 28.75 x 36 in. ed of 50. Framed by Wall Space
Social media has overtaken our personal interactions in the span of only a few decades, collapsing the public and private spheres in on each other. The veneer of the social media persona has created realms inhospitable to inadequacy. In the face of this development, Burlew and Gluszak champion the wonky, undesirable and genuine.
”When I enter the glass studio I think about my body. I think about how my body can feel itself belong and fit into a space or how it can feel isolated from it. I think about your body and how it moves in unison with the glass, my body, and the space that surrounds it. Together we must find a way to fit into the curves of the studio in that moment, we must find our place in that space. As I push forward towards the artwork, this idea of finding your body fitting or not fitting into different spaces is explorative.” - Brianna Gluszak
Brianna Gluszak, Lost and found, blown glass, 6 x 14 x 12 in.
For Burlew the role of vulnerability is to fly in the face of the stoic perfectionism of the contemporary social façade. Across her continued Weakness series and accompanying Chalice series, Burlew invites us to indulge in drinking down a host of personal malfunctions such as stupidity, ennui, folly, frailty and indolence. Presented in enticing golden cups and as stained glass portals, we are asked to willingly delve into imperfection and partake in its consumption as a path to enrichment and enlightenment.
Marianne Burlew, Disgrace, archival laminated lustre print on aluminum, 8 x 10 in. ed of 100. Framed by Wall Space
”My series on weakness uses humour to twist the seamlessness of the digital world into something silly and beautiful…Each work starts with a phrase or word associated with personal failing, along with an idea of the glass pattern. From there, I build up a line drawing using repeating shapes and symmetry. These colourful windows shine brightly, their careless beauty laughing kindly at the negativity they hold. They stand as individual moments of transition that welcome the randomness, violence and absurdity of the human condition.” - Marianne Burlew
Whether it is the spark of electricity from a new acquaintance or the coiling grip of deep love, Gluszak’s blown-glass and tufted rug textiles explore bodily sensations attached to personal encounters and relationships. Their tufted rugs in Soft Bodies focus on the gaze as intimate and at times invasive. The contrasts of soft and hard forms and texture across Gluszak’s chosen mediums and imagery correspond to, and conflate, conceptions of feminine and masculine physicality.
”I have recently found myself caught in a look, one that permeates all my being. The kind of look that doesn’t bounce off, and doesn’t seem to disappear, though it only lasted a moment. I am questioning my gaze, my looks and the gaze and looks that come my way. Through co-opting the AWOOGA moment of a look, the look that juts out from the eyes of Tex Avery’s character Wolfy. I am processing these looks within my own cartoony constructions that are comprised of paint, wood, glass, and textiles that form an installation. The AWOOGA is cringy, crinkly, playful, and funny. When I watch the two eyes jut out from Wolfy’s face I sit back relax, laugh or my whole body tenses up and freezes as I remember too many unwanted looks that have shot my way.” - Brianna Gluszak
Brianna Gluszak, I kissed a girl and I liked it…, tufted rug, 55 x 28 in.
Stretching between the realms of tactile material and the virtual image, the works in Soft Bodies are charged with sentiments of cartoon absurdity, elasticity, air-brushed perfection, and bodily sensation. Both Burlew and Gluszak open up space for human moments of relatability and connection. Through alters of colourful worship, amorphous body-objects, or the sticky heat of an awkwardly-timed gaze we are invited to reflect on and accept our vulnerabilities and the opportunities they afford. Soft Bodies celebrates the contradictory strength of weakness. - Tiffany April, Curator