FSU Art MFA ’17 Chelsea Raflo is opening her curated show “Soft Science” at the Abrams Claghorn Gallery in California on March 5th, featuring two other FSU students both past and present: Elise Thompson (MFA ’16), and Colleen Itani (MFA ’19). The show runs from March 5th through March 30th, with an opening reception on March 9th at 5pm – 7pm.
From the Abrams Claghorn Gallery website:
Soft Science Statement
The dominant narrative of our culture equates softness with weakness, impotence, and inaction. To be soft in one’s character suggests a distastefully tentative or passive nature; as a simple mechanism of language, the implication is generally lesser-than/‘lite,’ or too nebulous to be credible, in comparison to a solid counterpart (see: “soft opening,” “soft skills,” and of course, “hard science”). Considering this alongside the very real cultural binary of associating softness-as-feminine, hardness-as-masculine, it begs the question of not only why we are so firmly bent in this slant, but how it serves us.
The artists in this exhibition were asked to consider the properties of softness in a new way, both as a conceptual approach, and a literal exploration of materials. The resulting work presents a diverse, multifaceted response to the topic. Through soft sculpture, painting, fiber art, architecture, photography, and the written word, these artists all found unique ways of expressing the inherent strengths that derive from vulnerability, malleability, and the ineffable. Altogether, it suggests the potential for a new paradigm shift, one in which ‘going soft’ becomes a source of power, rather than a source of shame.
Curated By Chelsea Raflo
Steven L. Anderson
Alex Rae Phelps