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Underflesh: Exploring Human Fragility and Resilience
By installation artist and 2001–2002 McKnight Fellowship recipient,
Kathyrn Nobbe
January 31 – March 2, 2003

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Below, are individual pieces of the exhibit and a description of the work by writer Patricia Briggs ...

KaliedoscopeNobbe’s core imagery originates in a series of photographic slides that the artist persuaded her surgeon to take during the progress of her mastectomy surgeries. These photographs document the way that surgery translates and transforms her body into cut skin, bits of flesh and biopsy specimens. Nobbe reconfigures these visceral and disturbing documents into contemplative, even pleasing images. Using computer graphics in combination with traditional manual processes like painting and collage to manipulate the original photographic sources, Nobbe produced gorgeous kaleidoscopic patterns of color and texture that look like snowflakes or medieval stained glass windows, and which paradoxically register the disturbing matter of their making while encouraging in the viewer a state of transcendence and well being. Kaleidoscope I-XVIII, a series of large photographic digital prints opens with fragmented glimpses of blue surgical blankets, bloody human tissue, plastic medical implements and sutures, which speak of the painful physical aspects of the artist’s surgery. As the series unfolds the patterns metamorphose into bursts of light that look like sacred mandalas or glowing haloes. With this abstract narrative Nobbe suggests a progression from physical pain to spiritual awareness, from despair to grace.

 

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