Gina Stocchio: SMOOSH


Sep. 5, 2017, 11:00 am

4202 East Fowler Aveue MSC4100

Smoosh is a solo exhibition of new sculptural ceramic works by Tampa-based artist Gina Stucchio. The corporeal abstract ceramic objects featured in Smoosh directly relate to the appearance of the human body. Stucchio’s hand building, glazing, and finishing processes result in amorphous gobs of flesh tones, skin textures, and human hairs.

The objects, though vaguely human, exist separate from a defined human figure. In isolation, bodily characteristics that may conventionally appear repulsive or taboo lose their context. Liberated from the human figure, the masses of curves, rolls, and selectively placed hairs circumvent cultural expectations that dictate what is socially desired for a body to display and challenge viewers to consider their attitudes toward “undesirable” attributes in and of themselves. A close examination of the works may yield any number of responses from disgust to self-consciousness, or even delight in the case of observers finding elements that relate to their own bodies elevated as elements of fine art.

Stucchio’s placement of the objects in the exhibition further distances specific fleshy occurrences from the figural form. Despite existing within a formal art space, the works in Smoosh abide by no conventional display criteria. Viewers encounter the abstract forms at varying heights and planes throughout the gallery, prompting them to be mindful of their own bodies as they navigate around not only the flesh-resembling sculptures, but the bodies of other viewers as well. Depending both on the viewers present and on which works have a tendency to repel or attract, engagement with the exhibition and the aesthetic and spatial relationships that arise between the works themselves and the humans that approach the works constantly shift. This shifting adds to the destabilization of one’s perception of the particular bodily phenomena represented and recontextualized in the work.

The Centre Gallery is located on the second floor of the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida Tampa campus. There will be an opening reception on Monday, September 5 from 12pm to 1pm, and a closing reception on Friday, September 15 from 7pm to 9pm.

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