Thesis: Rachel Livedalen

The academic engine that fuels so much artistic print production and inquiry hits a fever pitch at this time of year with students at all levels of higher education producing culminate work toward their various degrees. The future of print belongs to these young minds so why not survey what they’re making. Printeresting will be sharing a sampling of thesis work from all over the US and beyond in a series called All These Theses 2014.
The following images are from Rachel Livedalen‘s thesis exhibition, Monuments to the Ever Virgin. She is receiving her MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa this Spring. Here is a brief statement…

Femininity, in its normative social driven state, is not a natural trait but rather a ghost that bears its past incarnations. I am interested in gender as a haunting social apparatus. Gender roles and representations have shifted throughout history, yet remain firmly attached to their antecedents. My creative research focuses on femininity as set forth in religion, social practices, and cultural phenomena and how these forces intersect at the present moment to create a complicated relationship of gender identity and expectations.

This exhibition explores cultural representations of the Virgin Mary in relation to contemporary sexuality.  Through the history of the color blue as a means of culturally representing the Virgin Mary in conjunction with the history of blue as a decorative motif amongst porcelain vessels, a common mode of representation emerges in both high and low cultural contexts.  These porcelain pieces and the Virgin Mary share a vessel function.  This functional sexuality or lack thereof within the mythology surrounding the Virgin Mary is in contrast to contemporary portrayals of female sexuality.












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Categories: Exhibitions

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