Rubber Factory is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Zoe Avery Nelson.
In a series that explores the temporality of inhabiting/being a body, Zoe Avery Nelson’s work moves within and outside the symbolic, through fragmentation, contradiction, and tension. Drawing from the practice of body-building and the forms of the gym, Zoe Avery builds idealized spaces for sculpting oneself. The exterior physical self manifests the fluid interior life as Zoe Avery explores the intersection of painting and their own transgender identity. A structured tension of desire and absence – desire for a form of the body that would be fluid and habitable – yields to a movement in which anything can become any other body part. Zoe Avery is also inspired by the euphoria of rave culture which synthesizes music and the self to create third spaces where the body is transcended. The form of a body is always an imagined thing; it is in and as fantasy (and painting), that the desiring body is apprehended and lived.
"I am a painter. I am Zoe Avery Nelson. I built a series of paintings around constructing a body that more accurately resembles the fluidly gendered body that I inhabit. As I worked on this series, I started to dance. To dance is to feel the presence of time. To be clear, this is a show about and of paintings. I am a painter. I am Zoe Avery Nelson. And I also dance. From these paintings, I found Avery, or rather, Avery found me on the dance floor, and I found Avery through painting. At first, Avery was fragmented and found in moments of slippage, or referenced through an object of desire or ambiguity. As I started dancing, the distances between myself and Avery – between fantasy and lived experience – stared to decrease. The distances between the fragmented sections of a painting started to decrease as well. That is how Avery emerged. To be clear, there is nothing linear nor exhaustible about this sequence. This collapse of self and other can only be found in motion, and therefore must be lost and found again and again. And I invite you to look, as I paint and live this process."