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Rachel Wolfe (b. 1984, Illinois, USA) makes sensual and meditative artworks on the nature of desire. An allegorical oeuvre of public and private installations focus in themes of body, water, terrain, technology, labor, and a humanist relationship to environment.   Wolfe connects deeply to immersive experience and emotional sense of the world.

Working by a tradition of motivation – not by single function modelled after industrialised reproduction – Wolfe works through a process of experience, photographing, drawing, writing, to form books, exhibitions, installations and performance of the message nature seeks to communicate through artistic work.

The Vision and Body relationship and the means by which these are mutable situate aesthetic and surrealist conversations in reason and morality. She authors poetry, sings, draws, paints, and does documentary work by contract and commission. Her life’s work is to create harmony, balance, and beauty.  

Awards & Scholarships

2018 Butoh Workshop Scholarship, The National Academy for The Arts, Oslo, Norway

2015 First Place by the Jury, Imagining New Eurasia Exhibition, The Asia Culture Center, ACC Creation, Gwangju, South Korea

2015 Woelffer Scholarship, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California

2014 Academic Merit Award, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California

2013 Academic Scholarship, Social Psychology, Ehime University, Matsuyama-shi, Japan

2009 Historic Pathways Winner, Indiana State University, Bloomington, Indiana    

Born along the Rock River and raised in the rural midwest near a nuclear power station, Rachel trained in dance, piano, and voice. She began working with cameras and drawing while studying Interior Design and Advertising, earning a Bachelor of Art in 2006. While working for 6 years in Chicagoland as a creative producer writing copy, designing, photographing for clients and local newspapers, working in galleries, she continued practice in movement and images, making books, zines, and small scale temporary works. She studied Social Psychology in Japan and photography at the College of Lake County where she worked before moving to Los Angeles for studies in Studio Art and Theory, working as a teaching assistant and earning a Master of Fine Art in 2015. She moved to Norway where she lives and works as an artist, writer, photographer, and performer.

For those with a deeper sense of curiosity or time to indulge:

My interests in Becoming and Form are critical for understanding the Impermanent and Irrespirable. The mysteries of Time and Space through phenomenological experiences of non-locality fascinate me. Representing ethereality in the nature and technology become the installations based on researching embodied ways of knowing. My research involves researching geology, chemistry, biology, nature and technology systems, and world histories of commodity trade and war through focus on the ways materials are valued and changed with technological advances, such as with water, salt, and ways ideological agendas control or exonerate human life. I work with imaging and space with images, performance, and mixed-media installations.

La beau monde creatif is a phrase that occurred to me in 2006, of which I had no previous knowledge of French language. This kind of transmission of language awareness, across space and time, arriving through dreamscape between waking and sleeping states, led me to the realms of surrealist art. Working with mediums recognized as a record – analogue and digital images and installations – I was able to generate visual and experiential proofs of the psychology spaces developed with the values of Harmony and Beauty. Classical training in dance and piano formed the kinaesthetic sensibilities I use in my process of making work. Taoism, I-Ching, Chinese Medicine align with the orientation: Body senses creates mind and roots vision.

Body and Vision relationship interest grew during graduate study as I dove into energy production, resources, histories of trauma and war. Epigenetic and trauma research guided me through psychology and geographic sites where conflict, resources, and technology altered human relationships, commerce, everyday human activity. The ephemeral traces resulted in physical manifestations as artefacts. I am always looking for ways to find a sense of Place from the past, present in physical reality – the ways the environment create the body.

The Grandeur and Abjection in modern Labor and Value service my process of speculation and recapitulating Jouissance. My wonder of Beauty, absolves constructs between body and mind, bridging the proposed divide between the metaphysical and material. Epistemology and perceptual phenomenology guide my choices in depicting defacto human, nature relationships construed for objects of desire. Belief in separation reveals misunderstandings. I work to understand, to commune, to make visible the reality of inseparable connection- the difference between Appearance and Endurance.

The following text, a co-inciding in my artistic production. Notes on Image, Beauty, Emotion by Seumas R Coutts Ph.D. 

1. In the etymology of emotion (ex, motio) formulated dual coding, something out or to bring representation ‘and the fundamental constraint of this act to the motion is a fundamental characteristic of all the arts. Applies to literature, that the act of bringing forth – and thus also the bringing forth of emotions – to temporality and sonority of Scripture is bound (the font is decidedly understood here in its material quality), so it builds up in the visual arts in media to the two-dimensional motion of a body, teach the visibility (the hand drawing, the action body; Print), the technical means of media-specific movements of the digital or analog technology. The exhibition project succeeds at this point Curtis L. Carter, who formulated this relationship as follows: “Consequently, the establishment of a fuller understanding of video styles requires a clarification of the relationships in between the functioning of the human mind and the image-producing capabilities of video “This means that the specific processuality, temporality and spatiality of video works an analogy to brain processes – represents that focuses the exhibition project at selected works – and emotional processes. With this approach, the project intervenes in a corrective to idea of emotion and expression that summarizes them in a scheme of oppositional inside and outside, thus an antecedent inner experience is expressed. It is to show the specific capacity of the arts, that thinking of emotions requires an approach that is able to formulate the interrelation of emotion and expression motion at the same time complex and to formulate such complex conditional change.

2. Currently, influential negotiations of emotions privilege face as visualization area of emotions. The exhibition project is a different accent and can thus exclude processes that are effective in the current research on emotions, show: In artistic work it is evident that emotions are connected with various articulations of the whole body. The exhibition presents artistic and literary stagings of the body – facing – the negotiated vision in interaction of the cognitive and emotional processes. To work out forms of articulation of emotions that no longer appear in current neuro-biological and psychological debates.

3. The articulated -0 in the arts context of emotion and movement makes classification systems of emotions, in turn, operate the temporal locking of emotion in the unique expression. Instead, make the arts clear that emotions are processes and thus bound to temporal processes. These timings extend not only to the movements of the body, but also imply that each specific temporality of media (literature, film, video, performance).

4. A striking feature of the artistic work is that they do not (etc. fear, joy, anger) follow the common catalogs of emotions, but also the downsides of emotions – such as apathy or boredom – take in the view. The project is to demonstrate, starting from this, that the arts are able to make a discernible difference in the field of emotions for the recipient accessible, which can not be separated from the experience of atmospheres and moods.

5. Current artistic works stage transgressions of human and animal emotions in many ways. There are animal movements of expression, as certain phonetic articulations, the specific feature of the artistic process (rhythm). Specifically artistic transformation Animals Motion of recognition will be made available without these must be adjusted by projection of human emotion on the animal.

In other words: The exhibition begins from the specific knowledge of the arts, the exploration of emotions in the complex interplay of science, power, social and cultural processes to make available to the recipient and experience. In this sense, the exhibition itself as an experiment, in which the visitors are the artistic works in a position to observe emotions that are generated in the emotions, and thus fall into the observer and subject position in one, as the visitors emotions always are part of the artistic work.