Rose Marasco: Projections
The artist Rose Marasco is preoccupied with invented photography. She describes this as “constructing an image to be photographed, or to be rendered directly onto light sensitive materials.” A master of layering, building a minimum of two narratives into one work, Marasco builds a minimum of two narratives into one work, forming complex studies of gender, architecture, and form.
Appropriated images of glamorized women from fashion magazines of today temporarily arrest in Marasco’s own domestic space in the series Interiors. Questioning and intuiting how her own constructions of home relate (if at all) to socially constructed messages of femininity, the artist transforms her everyday interior space into a performance venue. These photographs serve as witnesses to a fleeting event in artist’s private curation – a choreographed intersection of her personal articles and parallel vocabularies of gendered objects.
Marasco’s series of Constructions began with the story of Emily Roebling, a woman occasionally credited for assisting her architect father-in-law John Roebling with the Brooklyn Bridge. Emily was its first pedestrian with her pet rooster in 1883. In her image inspired by Roebling, Marasco builds vast negative space in what resembles a heavily exposed gelatin silver photogram. She formally centers the gaze on the silhouette of a female figure in Victorian dress who is “wearing” the modernist bridge’s forms. By this and other images in the series, Marasco feminizes the architectural and sculptural territories by marking them with culturally recognizable female iconography.
The symbol of the bird emerges in another series of camera-less images, which are at once, decorative. Silhouettes feature paper cutouts of birds and stock images of women from recent pop culture publications. The simple forms and shapes forge a harmonious interrelation between nature and the feminine. Further, Marasco metaphorically manipulates the slang term bird to identify effeminate creatures. Reminiscent of Sherrie Levine’s President series, Marasco’s Constructions and Projections play with the subversion of the female as an object of beauty – an entity to examine, desire, and contain in isolation.
Marasco is an Associate Professor of Art at the Maine College of Art in Portland, and is the recipient of several teaching awards including the Excellent in Photographic Teaching Award from Center in Santa Fe. She exhibited her work in numerous solo shows including Univeristy of Maine Art Gallery, Sarah Morthland Gallery, the Portland Museum of Art, the Davis Museum at Wellsley, and the Farnsworth Museum. Reviews of her work have been featured in publications worldwide including The New Yorker, Flak Photo, Photo District News, and Afterimage.
19 November 2010 - 9 January, 2011
Houston Center for Photography
Artist / Photographer