BARBARA CIUREJ & LINDSAY LOCHMAN

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Pliant History is an ongoing, multi-part project examining the mutability of history and envisioning power shifting form.

Pliant History: Artists' Book
Hand bound in Japanese silk with blind embossed front and spine. 7.5 x 10.5 inches, 2017. 72 pages. Edition of 9.
Contact the artists for pricing.

To expand the current discourse of power, Ciurej and Lochman requested women to “assume the pose” of Michelangelo's imposing figures of authority – the prophets and sibyls from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The presence of these seers and storytellers symbolically validated prevailing institutional power. Stripped of thrones, books, and robes, their contemporary counterparts confront history and embody another type of knowledge.

Printed on translucent vellum, images from the past overlay the present, creating moments of hybridity and fusion. Together, the figures transcend the binaries of male/female, past/present, strength/weakness, intellect/emotion. The structure of Pliant History allows the viewer to literally turn the page on the past, suggesting other narratives and possibilities.

The images are interwoven with excerpts from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, underscoring the inevitability of change.

In accordance with the mutability of the allegorical record
The artists Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman
elucidate The Naked Truth
in an encounter with the Sibyls and Prophets
–seers and storytellers through whom sacred prophecies flowed–
once depicted by the painter of much renown
Michelangelo
who made manifest the divine
in monumental physical glory
as he served to justify authority
Herein
draped and undraped
one upon the next
Signifying the shift of power
in the auspicious year of Two thousand seventeen

 

Pliant History: Sibyls and Prophets
Piezography prints. Series of 20. 7 x 10.5 inches, 2018. Edition of 8.

We are poised in a turbulent moment, straining against the structure, culture and institutions of power. Reflecting the complexities of confrontation, portraits of contemporary women coalesce with Michelangelo's archetypal images of authoratative seers and storytellers. Our figures exert powerful forces as they insinuate themselves into the past, embodying layered iterations of a transitory present.

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© Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman