In her recent solo exhibition, Lauren DiCioccio reminds us of life before Kindles and Blackberries. She stitches and embroiders replicas of objects approaching obsolescence--including newspapers, notepads, plastic bags, and 35 mm slides. Her re-creations draw our attention to ongoing societal shifts that include a rising awareness of our environmental footprint and a sweeping transition to digital-based communication and entertainment. With dainty handwork, DiCioccio commemorates our culture's disposable artifacts. Her facsimiles of Evian, Arrowhead, and Poland Spring water bottles are intentionally deflated and distorted, aptly recalling the weathered containers that litter the edges of city streets and highways. Similarly, her shopping bags are sewn from delicate bridal organza, and endowed with a sanctity and beauty that exceeds their point of inspiration. By using a silky and costly fabric to emulate plastic and paper, DiCioccio accentuates the intimate, tactile quality of throwaway materials. Unfortunately, our desire to touch her precious goods must remain unsated--even her decks of playing cards can only be handled with white gloves. Nonetheless, we can imagine how this experience differs from the cold and sterile sensation of today's metal and plastic electronic devices.
DiCioccio creates a kind of 21st-century still life through her display of assorted handcrafted plastic bags, sheets of loose-leaf paper, composition books, and 35 mm film. Complemented by a skull and hourglass--vanitas symbols that convey the fragile and fleeting nature of life--her tableau suggests that today's everyday objects may become relics in the future. In a similar vein, she preserves a connection to the past in the series Ziplocked Still Lives, which encapsulates items such as dice and a vinyl 45 record.
DiCioccio's craft is not limited to thread and needle, as seen in her Color Codification Dot Paintings, which are based on issues of W, Vanity Fair, and Elle magazines. The artist has assigned a color to each letter in the fashion magazine articles, yielding abstract pointillist compositions that recall conceptual art's interest in language and systems. In Let's Play, DiCioccio invites gallery visitors to join her for white-gloved card games. In doing so, she restores the objects' original function and enables us to re-experience old pastimes. As many of these objects may soon fall out of use, this exhibition prompts us to wonder what has been lost.
Published courtesy of art ltd. ©2010