Molly Alloy MFA Visual Studies Thesis Spring 2018

Queer Immortality

And how about the bodies that we are here to talk about? These odd, tender art bodies that I’ve made – I’ll just make introductions now and we’ll get more intimate with them later on: What is hanging here next to me is a pair of screen prints on paper titled Laurel & Molly. Back-to-back and sandwiched at the top edge between halves of a single driftwood log, the prints do not hang flat like a wall but rather curve through space following the form of the wood limb. The rest of the edges hang free in space and move slightly if a breeze goes by. The bottom corners cling to each other, invisibly held by internal magnets and leaving a slight opening that runs up the edge where the two sheets curl gently away from each other. Another driftwood – this one whole, speckled with pink leather spots and the remnants of barnacles and adorned with a brass ring and lavender leather wrapping – lays on the slanted floor beneath the prints. This visually and emotionally grounds the prints and energizes the space around them.

On the interior curve facing us there are two pairs of human figures, myself and my late aunt, Laurel LeLoup. The bodies themselves are overlapping and composed of fragments, and are additionally layered onto textured background forms of driftwood and abstract marks which are also found on the exterior print.

Situated across from the prints is a large form that looks sort of like a plushie toy of jagged rocks meets chesterfield couch. Or perhaps it’s better described as a luxurious cat tower for humans? This large form and all the rest of the elements scattered around are collectively titled Touch Me, But Gently. The shape of this large form nods to mountain, but the surface – a flecked amalgamation of many colored bits that somehow averages out to a cool purple – speaks in the human languages of furniture and design. The fuzzy skin of the work stretches and wrinkles gently in places, and is punctuated by matching buttons which by their slight depression subtly indicate a soft surface and the invisible substrates to which the punctuations are tethered. The material covering this large form is felt – and it has been! These are moving blankets, made of recycled and repurposed bits and ends of threads and fabrics – many hands and iterations into its material life already. They have been affixed here, treated with care and skill that both echoes and complicates their would-be purpose of wrapping and protecting objects in transition. Over the shoulder of this form a color-blocked riff on an animal pelt stretches between color matched buttons. The real leather indicates a real animal’s life, but the saccharine colors and pop sensibility take it to the realm of the imaginary.

Attached to the felt form is the largest of several driftwood objects – and don’t worry, it’s good and attached ;) Departing abruptly from the sofa implications of the soft form, the contact between the two re-emphasizes the aspect of landscape. Landing on its other end on a driftwood stump, this log becomes environmental, to be scaled and wondered at as it would be in the natural setting from which my friends kindly wrested it for me. We know that driftwood had a past life as Tree, and these objects each carry innumerable marks and properties which indicate what they have encountered since that transformation began. I have added to these found objects, with careful, sensual treatments like wrapping, tucking, weaving and lacing that become accessories or attire on these wooden bodies.

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