Rachelle Rojany’s Show Joan is a two-part installation exploring how communities can come together over large divides. Presented in the upstairs gallery are three gigantic figures made of purple felt folded, nailed, and draped over the walls and floors. Felt as a material is simple and common yet warm, implying comfort and healing. The arms between the figures are interlocked, holding each other, while the outside arms stretch and reach out over the walls and overflow down to the office below. A felt arm hangs over the railing like a flag, connecting to the second installation in the office below.
On the office wall are two triangular sculptures in plaster, resembling pennants in red and blue. Rojany is referencing semaphore flags, a maritime communication system of handheld banners used to communicate visually over great distances. The two flags are placed on a diagonal in the formation of the letter “J”, the right arm stretched high and the left arm stretched out to the side. Rojany’s works look to spatial relations as a path to speaking about empathy; reaching round, reaching up, and reaching out.
Rachelle Rojany is Los Angeles-based artist. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Academy of Fine Arts, Bologna, and the University of Bologna. She was an artist in residence at Zentralburo in Berlin, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Seattle, and Cologne. In 2016, she taught a Practicum at CalArts and was the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann ACE prize.