Excerpts and Artifacts From 35.053444 N, -96.991328W: Rachel Rushing

When looking at Rachel Rushing’s “Specimens”, I sense its strange aura. Rushing’s process exposes organic and synthetic shapes on gelatin silver paper, archiving the location of a creek that is full of trash and runoff. In her prints, Rushing captures the beauty of synthesis; manmade and organic becoming inseparable. Rushing’s material has a transformative power, allowing natural processes to become a cosmic space, plastic bags and pillow cases to become celestial. Each set of lumen prints becomes a window into something surreal–a flickering of eerie light and fleshy hues. The body seeps into each piece, a liquid landscape of chaos and order. Despite their beauty, Rushing’s artifacts give a lingering feeling--perhaps it’s the trick of aesthetic that makes you uneasy, masking the artificiality as something natural. Or maybe because we can’t tell between plants and the plastic bags that cover them.


Rachel Rushing, courtesy of SRO Gallery

The idea of finding beauty in our discarded things is by no means new. Gregory Euclide uses recycled objects in his landscape scenes, and the trash movement in New York forages for material in the streets (i.e., Justin GIgnac’s NYC Garbage). For other beauty-scavenging artists, garbage gains meaning and value by its removal from context (wherever it was strewn). Rushing presents us with an interesting voice in this dialogue - one that acknowledges these foreign articles, but does not seek to alter or remove them. Her work relies on highlighting the location of refuse as essential to the work’s meaning as the garbage itself. Through her prints, we see these objects at their source, shaping a synonymous world, distorting our distinctions between real and artificial. Rushing’s artifacts are much more than a repurposing for financial gain, or a documentation; they are an imprint of inevitability. They propose to us a reality of landscape that we now face – one that is intertwined with human affect.


Rachel Rushing, courtesy of SRO Gallery

Rachel Rushing, courtesy of SRO Gallery

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