Rachel E. Foster

I’ve seen Rachel E. Foster‘s work around Chicago over the last few years in various exhibitions, but only recently drew the connections between her visually disparate but thematically-linked prints. She has her BFA from Columbia College Chicago (2003), but now lives in California, and this year she received her MFA from the California College of the Arts. Foster is invested in the slightly subversive reproductions of text into image, and the ways in which digital language can be confusing and tricky. Her artist statement hints at her enthusiasm for collecting and documenting the digital into print:

The internet is playing a giant game of Telephone; information is copied, distorted, and reproduced. The data that you located on Monday, seems to have vanished by Tuesday. So much material is floating around the digital world with no physical form – they are ghosts. I scour the internet for hours looking for that one perfect tid-bit that haunts me. I collect information concerning Whirling Dervishes, the Rosetta Stone, famous last words, Ouija boards….Through the digital world I am collecting evidence of those things nearly invisible and through sculpture, printmaking, photography I stabilize them with a physicality. Much of my work is processed through language, as language is the primary construction we use that has one foot in the tangible world and one in the ineffable. Each work transforms and translates pre-existing facts.

The fingerprinted keyboard (below) was one of the first things of Foster’s that I saw in Chicago, and that image has stuck with me over the last few years. This summer she exhibited the Braille embossed print (below) at Western Exhibitions in Chicago in a show called People Don’t Like to Read Art (also filled with many other wonderful and hilarious text-image pieces).

Beethoven Love Letter July 6, 1806, silkscreen and fingerprint, (2009)

Beethoven Love Letter July 6, 1806, detail, silkscreen and fingerprint, (2009)

Braille Print, embossed paper, (2010)

You can read a 2008 interview with her here, and if you’re in Chicago in September, check out an artist book by Foster in a group show called Nomadic Text at the Oak Park gallery What It Is.

First Transmitted Image, silkscreen, (2010)

Specimen, from the California College of the Arts MFA Show, (2011)

Everything to See, silkscreen (2010)

Everything to See, detail, silkscreen (2010)

Average Lifespan, silkscreen, (2009)

Title Page, silkscreen, (2010)

Paul’s Last Words to Linda, silkscreen (2010)

Condensed History of the Papacy (Papal Names Condensed into Logos), (2010)

 

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