| October 5-30, 2020. Ali Hval: Guilt, Enamel |
One of the delights of being the Gallery Director is that I get to see new artists with new work and, to be frank, it is exciting. Take as a case in point, the work by the Bisignano's current artist, Ali Hval (pronounced Val, the H is silent - a Norwegian thing).
After we had talked about her show, she asked if she might construct a mural. Hmmm. We've never done that. So I explored that with our Director of Maintenance, Craig Kloft, who said straight away, "Well is the mural part of the art work and show?" I answered in the affirmative. And so did he. (I hope he still talks to me after all this.) The mural redefines the space of the Gallery and sets the stage for all the rhinestones and reflections.
This is a strange, kinda edgy show for us. Refreshing. And full of sparkles.
Be safe. Be well. - Alan Garfield, Director of the Bisignano Art Gallery.
My current work spotlights how I establish relationships with the sheer amount of stuff
I encounter and how I absorb those encounters with my own sensibilities. I am eternally
fascinated with the ways everyday products are packaged, displayed, and presented to a
viewer, such as how how hurriedly store window displays are replaced by something newer,
better, and grander: constant fixes and updates to the previous iteration.
My work is sensual and bodily: they are glitzy things which embrace, highlight, and empower women's sexuality rather than hiding or denying it. Growing up with the mindset that restrained sexuality was the one, only, and most righteous choice, being chaste and suppressing one's sexuality became the normal and “right” choice for me. However, after physically leaving the south and literally moving to a place with a more open mindset, my work (alongside myself) became an ongoing attempt to figure out how to balance sexuality with what my own sensibilities: how can I embrace my own sexuality in a way which is liberating to me, rather than solely believing it must be either exactly what I learned growing up or what I unearthed in this new, more open-minded mental space? There is some in-between area that exists between these two extreme points on a spectrum, a balance I am striving to unearth in understanding my own relationship to my body. My work, too, is a balancing act: one between the sexuality of my forms and the innocence and playfulness of the materials I use to understand my own relationship to my body.
The sculptural wall pieces I make are an unconventional marriage between eraspecific jewelry, bodily forms, objects of pleasure, and home decor. They frolic in and out of fast fashion, sensuality, and plastic glitz. They have certain requirements to meet, ways in which they must be dolled up, pieces and parts that must trickle into them to give them a desired fullness of value form.
Rather than hurriedly moving from one object to the next, I savor the transitions between, enjoying slow transformations in a world where things are eager to move on. My work settles down to reminisce, glistening actors in their well-loved homes.