Rubbernecker: Abigail Goldman's Tiny Die-oramas @ Hashimoto Contemporary NYC
New York City's Hashimoto Contemporary presents Rubbernecker, a solo exhibition by Washington-based artist Abigail Goldman, who continues her ongoing series of miniature, delightfully violent and wickedly clever 'die-oramas.'
Mad about the macabre, Goldman portrays extraordinary everyday scenes of city blocks and suburbia, a peek inside the living room as someone curls up on the couch with a book. At first glance, these cozy scenarios disarm and charm, drawing one closer, only to confront a shocking vignette of underground cannibalism, murderous tots, and killer poodles. Inhabited by figures less than one inch tall, Goldman's die-oramas create small insular universes of meticulous detail where chaos reigns. By presenting violent scenes on such a small scale, the artist encapsulates rage in a darkly humorous yet deeply troubling way.
Miniatures are often associated with feminine play, small dolls and their diminutive accessories from early childhood, which serve as precursors to the “women’s work” that lies ahead–tending to a home, family, and nurturing. By working on a small scale and playing with the concept of 'cute', Goldman subverts and re-contextualizes a historically feminine form of self-expression. By doing so, she creates a foil for society's fascination and desire for violence, what society considers its 'appropriate' limits, and ultimately, how desensitized we've become.
Goldman explains, “We are in violent times. We have accustomed ourselves to tragedy. I think there’s an undercurrent of anger that is rippling just under the surface – it builds and bubbles in unexpected places. We find ourselves with clenched fists in line at the grocery store, sobbing in the shower, or ready to ram the back of someone’s car when they stop short. By capturing tiny moments of violence and containing them, making them so small they’re charming, there’s a kind of catharsis. Gallows humor is a coping mechanism, black humor is a dialect of the world-weary. If I can make someone laugh, or make them see something of themselves or their own simmering frustrations in a die-orama, then I’ve succeeded.”
Abigail Goldman's Rubbernecker opens on Saturday, December 14, with an opening reception from 6 pm to 8 pm, and is on view through Saturday, January 4th.