Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Rubbernecker, a solo exhibition by Washington-based artist Abigail Goldman. Rubbernecker will be the artists second solo exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary, in which she will be exhibiting her ongoing series of miniature violent, yet charming and wickedly clever dieoramas.
Inspired by the macabre, Abigail Goldman portrays seemingly everyday scenes - city blocks, suburban homes, a peek inside someone’s living room as they curl up on the couch with a book. Upon first glance, these charming and ordinary depictions of life disarm the viewer, drawing them in only to confront them with a shockingly violent reality of underground cannibalism, murderous tots and killer poodles. Inhabited by figures less than one inch tall, the dieoramas are meticulously detailed, creating small insular universes where chaos reigns. By presenting these violent scenes in such a small scale, the artist miniaturizes rage in a way that is both darkly humorous yet deeply troubling.
Miniatures are often associated with the feminine. From early childhood, girls play with dollhouses, small dolls and their accessories, serving as a pre-cursor to the “women’s work” that lies ahead - tending to a home, family and instilling a deeply rooted sense of nurturing. By working in a small scale, and playing with the concept of “cute” the artist subverts and re-contextualizes what is a historically feminine form of self-expression. By doing so, Goldman confronts us with our own fascination with violence, our desire for it, what is considered appropriate and ultimately our desensitization as a whole.
About the exhibition and her inspiration for this latest body of work, the artist states, “We are in violent times. We have accustomed ourselves to tragedy. I think there’s an undercurrent of anger that is rippling just under the surface - it builds and bubbles up in unexpected places; we find ourselves with clenched fists in line at the grocery store, or sobbing in the shower, or ready to ram the back of someone’s car when they stop short. By capturing tiny moments of violence and containing them, making them so small they’re charming, there’s a kind of catharsis. Gallows humor is a coping mechanism, black humor is a dialect of the world-weary; if I can make someone laugh, or make them see something of themselves or their own simmering frustrations in a dieorama, then I’ve succeeded.”