Even a Parking Lot is Beautiful at Dawn includes new work made by AAC resident artist Emily Fussner over the last year. Fussner casts cracks in parking lots, filling them with wet paper pulp and letting it dry before removing the form. During this time, the work becomes part of the environment. Cars drive over it, condensing and strengthening it. Passersby may notice the unexpected gesture in an otherwise unassuming landscape, highlighting a fracture they wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
Fussner’s work reflects her interest in Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold. Her own experience living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a brittle bone condition, has also given her an intimate relationship to fracture and healing. As a material, handmade paper is fragile and yet surprisingly resilient – not unlike the human body.
In this exhibition, Fussner presents several iterations of work made through this casting process. The cast paper forms that she removes from the cracks act as a relic of a specific fracture. Suspended to accentuate their dimensionality, the forms evoke a skeleton, an aerial map, or, as the artist explains “a scar that can cast a shadow.” More recently, Fussner has begun tracing the shadows of these forms in gold onto abaca paper she made. The abaca paper is translucent, like skin, and the lines shift from vibrant gold to dark shadow, depending on the viewer’s perspective.
Emily Fussner is a multidisciplinary artist whose work highlights peripheral patterns in everyday spaces and explores questions of transience and presence, fragility and strength, perception and care. Fussner grew up in Indonesia, Indiana, and New Zealand before settling in the Washington, DC area. She earned an MFA from George Mason University, during which she was awarded a 2018-2019 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship and participated in American University’s MFA Studio Berlin summer residency at GlogauAIR. She has exhibited in group shows regionally and abroad, and had her first solo exhibition in Washington, DC in 2019 at IA&A at Hillyer. She works in arts administration, occasionally teaches, and is a resident artist at Arlington Arts Center.
Exhibition Dates: June 19 - August 28, 2021
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