'The Stinking Corpse Lily’, 2014
’set of 4 8 in by 8 in, handmade screen prints on paper
edition of 25, editions 1-10 for MATERIAL
Excerpts from the garden
I watched her eviscerate the garden one quiet afternoon. It became a plot filled with traces of the body and repeated gestures. Greenery flung around, shrubs cut way down to size.
She ruined it. And as I witnessed the attack, it was clear that an unconscious shift had occurred: she had repurposed the domestic idyll – her garden was now a punching bag.
For her the space had meant pride, accomplishment, and tranquility, but now it was a place for transference and destruction. Violent pruning. Trunks of Leather Ferns were hacked to pieces. Elephant Ears annihilated. Her aggression was like a distorted blend of scream and garden therapy – a violent and quiet coping mechanism.
It all resonated so softly. She whispered to herself while she chopped the branches of a Hibiscus plant. The yard was bare. Like memory, an imperfect assemblage of unraveled imprints, movements and gaps. Images – flashed – fragmented – remnants – recalled – transmuted. The present obscured the past.
The quietness of the machete against her murmuring, low levels of noise absorbed by wood, by grass, and two bodies.
Despite my emotional projections, despite the violent urgency to make sense of the inevitable, despite the stakes, it was just a simple sound. I thought about trauma, not as something epic or heroic, but as something muted – everyday – internalized – mundane. Both foreground and background, repeating, repeated.
Garish and subdued, like stinking corpse lily wallpaper, slowly fading over time.
Ali Prosch is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She received her MFA in Studio Art from CalArts in 2009. She uses drawing, video and performance to examine cultural modes of female representation and the frustrations of trying to define one's identity within the historical context of representation. By combining art historical references with contemporary concerns, Prosch destabilizes social conventions in order to reinvent new modes of female expression and embodiment. Her work has been exhibited at Glendale College Art Gallery, Machine Project, Public Fiction, MOCA Geffen (LA), REDCAT, UC Santa Barbara, Smithsonian Hirsshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC), New Jersey City University, University of Texas, Georgia State University, Locust Projects (Miami), The Museum of Contemporary Art (North Miami), Fredric Snitzer Gallery (Miami), Tomio Koyama Gallery (Tokyo), and White Box (NYC). Ali Prosch is a member of the collective D3: Deliver, Document, Destroy.