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Twist Affix opening at the Riverside Arts Center's Freeark Gallery October 29th

twist affix

“Leaning, shooting, bedded, staked, staying. Drooping, reclining, pitched, and placed. Sloping, jutting, braced. Holding, heaped. Planted and spread. My recent collage-based installations map networks of meaning and association between the garden, the ephemeral, and the photographic. Qualities of the garden run parallel to the nature of photography: they are spaces defined by interactions of the scientific, the accidental, and the temporal." -- Aimée Beaubien

Teetering between cultivation and wildness, Aimée Beaubien's solo exhibition Twist Affix at the Riverside Arts Center's Freeark Gallery takes the form of verdant mesh curtains made of interwoven strips of color photographs, taken in her own backyard garden in Chicago and her mother's garden in Florida.  One curtain bisects the front gallery and is lit and shadowed to dazzling effect with intensely colorful hothouse grow lights.  

Beaubien says of her unique, recombinatory approach to photography and sculptural process: "my collage practice is driven by the translational space between image and material, and by generative and cumulative strategies of making. I embrace the documentary capacity of the camera, recording what I encounter. My images become printed photographs, then sculptural forms. Cutting and reassembling, I draw with scissors. Within the visual and temporal entanglements of my installations, perception slips between recognition and abstraction: from a sky, a topography, or a textile, into fields of color and pattern and back again."

Beaubien sees the garden as a type of collection, noting that gardens "are the products of migration, accumulation, curation, and caprice. Culled from the orderliness of scientific taxonomies, we assemble our gardens for aesthetic pleasures, and for contact with wildness." Beaubien's hanging gardens at RAC thus extend and expand upon her longstanding interest in idiosyncratic collections and collecting practices, from the objects held in specialty museums like the Roger Brown Study Collection--which inspired Beaubien's project "Collecting Within," shown at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in 2016 --to the quirky displays of personal artifacts found in ordinary people's homes, including her own. 

For press inquiries and high-res images contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Isé:  cise[at]riversideartscenter[dot]com.

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The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546
708-442-6400
www.riversideartscenter.com

Gallery Hours: Tue - Sat 1-5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.
All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public.

20min interview about 'Cuttings' with Lisa Degliantoni for The Lisa D Show

The Lisa D Show

Aimée Beaubien's art installation at Platform in Evanston, "Cuttings", is an incredibly unique and interesting way to recreate a garden. The installation features floor to ceiling photos of garden and plant cut up and woven into shapes and formations, hung with rope, attached to dried lemons and other organic matter. Walking through the installation gives one the feeling of being a tiny lost creature in a magical and fantastical garden.

The public is invited this Saturday, June 3, to meet Aimée at Platform on 904 Sherman Ave., 12-7:30 p.m. Aimée is one of more than 200 visual artists participating the kick off weekend of Evanston Made, a monthlong visual arts celebration in June that turns the city of Evanston into a art gallery. Learn more at evanstonmade.com

Show notes: this interview includes background on Aimée's great grandmother's experience living through the Great Depression, insight into Rugby culture and songs about dog-butt sniffing, the evils of vines and finding your soulmate after 40.

Chicago-based artist Aimée Beaubien constructs optically perplexing arrangements from fragments of her own photographs. See more of her work at aimeebeaubien.com

Platform is a foundation for the unconstrained creative vision of Justine Bianco and Maggie Meiners. It is our studio with a store front project space to exhibit BIG ideas. We are not a conventional gallery looking to make a buck, we are an exhibition space in which artists have creative license to get adventurous. Learn more atplatform904.com

"The Lisa D Show" is a podcast celebrating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, very low tech on purpose.

Cuttings: Aimée Beaubien --- Platform, 904 Sherman, Evanston, IL 60202 --- May 22-July 7, 2017 --- Opening Reception: Saturday, June 3 5-7:30 pm

Cuttings: Aimée Beaubien May 22-July 7, 2017, Opening Reception: Saturday, June 3 5-7:30 pm Platform, 904 Sherman, Evanston, IL 60202 Gallery Hours:  by appointment; 773.383.9197, platform904.com Platform is pleased to present a solo exhibition featuring the work titled Cuttings. Beaubien’s sculptural, photo based collages explore collapses in time, space, and place, while playfully engaging the complexities of visual perception.  In Cuttings, botanical life is drawn in the illusory space of photographic representation, or drawn with scissors. Bold leaf shapes and twisting ribbons of color entwine, dangle, cluster and creep. Beaubien’s photographs are cut into colorful shapes that interweave, encircle, and hang; trail in ribbon-like shreds; and become wild ornamental outgrowths. Beaubien’s Cuttings are representational of gardens. This makeshift garden is constructed through processes of translation, revision, cutting and reassembling, reflecting the temporal complexity of the garden, and of the photographic encounter. AIMÉE BEAUBIEN is an artist living and working in Chicago.. Solo exhibitions include shows at DEMO Projects, Springfield; Johalla Projects, Chicago; TWIN KITTENS, Atlanta, GA; Gallery Uno, Chicago; Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago; Marvelli Gallery, NY, BOX 13 Artspace, Houston, TX. Two-person and group exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; Ukranian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago; The Pitch Project, Milwaukee, WI; Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL; Temple Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; galerie obqo, Berlin, Germany; UCRC Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA; Art Exhibition Link, Bremen, Germany, and Castello di S. Severa, Italy; Carl Hammer Gallery and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago. Her work has been reviewed in publications such as Art in America, Art on Paper, and Art Papers. Beaubien is Assistant Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Platform, Evanston, IL: Platform is a foundation for the unconstrained creative vision of Justine Bianco and Maggie Meiners.  It is a shared studio with a small project space to exhibit BIG ideas. Platform is not a conventional gallery, but rather, an exhibition space in which artists have creative license to get adventurous. Platform encourages collectors, enthusiasts and all others to assemble, see art, talk about art, and share their thoughts generously.

Cuttings: Aimée Beaubien

May 22-July 7, 2017, Opening Reception: Saturday, June 3 5-7:30 pm

Platform, 904 Sherman, Evanston, IL 60202

Gallery Hours:  by appointment; 773.383.9197, platform904.com

Platform is pleased to present a solo exhibition featuring the work titled Cuttings. Beaubien’s sculptural, photo based collages explore collapses in time, space, and place, while playfully engaging the complexities of visual perception.  In Cuttings, botanical life is drawn in the illusory space of photographic representation, or drawn with scissors. Bold leaf shapes and twisting ribbons of color entwine, dangle, cluster and creep. Beaubien’s photographs are cut into colorful shapes that interweave, encircle, and hang; trail in ribbon-like shreds; and become wild ornamental outgrowths.

Beaubien’s Cuttings are representational of gardens. This makeshift garden is constructed through processes of translation, revision, cutting and reassembling, reflecting the temporal complexity of the garden, and of the photographic encounter.

AIMÉE BEAUBIEN is an artist living and working in Chicago.. Solo exhibitions include shows at DEMO Projects, Springfield; Johalla Projects, Chicago; TWIN KITTENS, Atlanta, GA; Gallery Uno, Chicago; Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago; Marvelli Gallery, NY, BOX 13 Artspace, Houston, TX. Two-person and group exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; Ukranian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago; The Pitch Project, Milwaukee, WI; Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL; Temple Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; galerie obqo, Berlin, Germany; UCRC Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA; Art Exhibition Link, Bremen, Germany, and Castello di S. Severa, Italy; Carl Hammer Gallery and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago. Her work has been reviewed in publications such as Art in America, Art on Paper, and Art Papers. Beaubien is Assistant Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Platform, Evanston, IL: Platform is a foundation for the unconstrained creative vision of Justine Bianco and Maggie Meiners.  It is a shared studio with a small project space to exhibit BIG ideas. Platform is not a conventional gallery, but rather, an exhibition space in which artists have creative license to get adventurous. Platform encourages collectors, enthusiasts and all others to assemble, see art, talk about art, and share their thoughts generously.

FLOORR MAGAZINE - Interview

beaubien_floorr_magazine

AIMEE BEAUBIEN

"VISUAL OSCILLATIONS BETWEEN FORM AND IMAGE REFLECT ON THE SENSORY SHIFTS BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPHIC DEPICTION AND PHYSICAL ENCOUNTER."

https://www.floorrmagazine.com/issue-9/aimee-beaubien

Could you tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been a practising artist and where did you study?

I live and work in Chicago, IL.  This city is brimming with talent driven to create improvised opportunities to share work. I received my BFA (1989), and MFA (1993) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Photography. While I began exhibiting my work during grad school, I believe I really learned how to work every day in an art studio when I was a teenager.

My family was highly mobile and continued to move throughout my childhood. Moves mid-school year were the worst. Finally, I landed in a boarding school with a focus on the arts for my last two years of high school and my first two consecutive years in one location. Our campus was on a lake in the woods with no distractions. We worked in our studios after mornings spent in academic classes. We returned after dinner to continue making until bedtime. I was so preoccupied with learning through making that it never even occurred to me to do anything else.

These vibrant paper sculptures are very delicate, detailed and bizarre. Could you talk about your work and what your process is?

Delicate, detailed and bizarre sounds great to me! I have been cutting up photographs since the mid-1980s. My earliest impulses came of a desire to draw attention to how pictures are constructed. I actively investigated different collage strategies to experiment with visibly assembling photographic information in order to build picture relationships that might simultaneously blend, overlap, and intersect. Whenever I documented my intricate collages the results were disappointing; important seams disappeared, visible layers were flattened and erased through reproduction. I began raising my cutouts into reliefs that hovered just off the surface of the wall, emphasizing layers of revision and rebuilding.

Concentrated material experimentation guide the development of my practice, which has shifted from wall pieces to sculpture, and then to large-scale installations. I began to create woven works after becoming fascinated by intricate handmade baskets I saw in a gallery. I reassembled ribbons of cut photographs into tapestries and flexible interlocking structures. I continue to use each exhibition as an opportunity to creatively push the boundaries of my practice.

I spent a year photographing in Roger Brown Study Collection, the archive and historic home of the celebrated Chicago Imagist painter. I used the camera to capture my own impressions of the objects surrounding Brown during his lifetime, as I reflected on the connections between an artist’s work, their life and the things they collect. I continue to think about many different types of collections: the historically significant objects curated and presented by museums, as well as the idiosyncratic ways individuals collect and arrange personal items in their homes.

This research took form as Collecting Within: a multi-level installation of suspended ceramic jugs, woven photographic material, party lights, and large vessel-shaped photographs suspended with brightly hued cords. The work focuses on Roger Brown’s collection, while incorporating selected vernacular and photo-historical images. The piece nods to one of Henry Fox Talbot’s images in particular, Articles of China (c.1844). A pioneer of the medium, Talbot left behind an unusual record of his domestic life and collections. Many of his pictures show fine china, dishes, and other careful arrangements from his home and daily life. Conceived for the 40th anniversary exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, the installation reflects on our dynamic and tangled attachments for the things we collect, individually and institutionally.

Where has your work been headed more recently?

I have been focused on the garden as an ephemeral collection. In gardens, interconnected systems grow and reproduce. Hybrids flourish. Seasons reign, briefly. Gardens are marked by time. Various cycles of life move at different speeds. Interdependent systems multiply, bloom, grow, intertwine, and die. Qualities of the garden run parallel to the nature of photography: spaces defined by interactions of the scientific, the accidental, and the temporal.

My great-grandmother photographed her garden through the seasons and throughout her lifetime. I have been photographing in my tiny backyard garden, in my mother’s amazing garden in Florida, and botanical gardens near each of our homes.

In my recent work, botanical life is drawn in the illusory space of photographic representation, or drawn with scissors. Cut forms interweave, encircle, and hang; trail in ribbon-like shreds; and become wild ornamental outgrowths. Bold leaf shapes and twisting spirals of color entwine, dangle, cluster and creep in makeshift gardens. Hothouse grow lights create plays of intensely colored light and shadow while a household oscillating fan keeps these botanical entanglements actively swaying with life.

Photographic paper has become the sculptural material through which I continue exploring physical and perceptual relationships. Visual oscillations between form and image reflect on the sensory shifts between photographic depiction and physical encounter. My work is driven by the transformative potential between image and material, and by generative and cumulative strategies of making.

Tell us a bit about how you spend your day/studio routine? What is your studio like?

My studio is a first floor apartment and I live on the second floor with my husband and our two cats. My husband makes ceramic whiskey jugs on the weekends and they line the staircase that connects my studio and my home. Since I began working in this space, I have noticed my domestic environment influences my work in unexpected ways.

Wild fast growing vines creep about the garage out back, slink through the yard and climb all around our house. Last summer I began pulling out thickly twining morning glories, plucking the heart shaped leaves and rolling them up into large tumbleweeds to dry out before bringing them into the studio. My grandmother’s dining room table is my primary work table and I am surrounded by huge tangles of cut and woven photographic pieces in various states of progress that dangle down from the ceiling.

I allow everyday objects from my home studio to become integrated into the structure of my sculptures. Surrounded by suspended, propped, and perched objects, I consider perceptions of weight: the weight of things, the weight of images, the weight of representations, and the emotional ties interlaced throughout.

What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?

Lately I have been making repeat visits to Provoke: Photography between Protest and Performance, 1960 - 1975 at the Art Institute of Chicago. I am particularly drawn to Jiro Takamatsu’s Photograph of Photograph, a series of fifty black and white images. Takamatsu arranged family photos around his home and hired a photographer to take pictures of the photos in situ from angles that would capture light bouncing off the surface. And I keep thinking about this line from the wall label: ‘Personal memory, like external reality, looks difficult to grasp with precision.’ I inherited thousands of my great-grandmother’s photographs and I have felt encouraged to view them at odd angles to explore their many possibilities.

William Henry Fox Talbot’s ‘Honeysuckle’, c. 1844 is always in my nearby thoughts. Geoffrey Batchen wrote: “Talbot crowds his camera into this bush of flowering honeysuckle, resulting in a remarkably three-dimensional picture. Looking at this image, we feel as though we too are peering into these branches, our field of vision totally filled by its light-dappled petals and stems. The photograph is at once realist and abstract, and thus points to the paradoxical aspect of photographic vision that many future practitioners would also learn to exploit.” It is the greatest excuse to use my camera to see things, to become sensitive to the act of looking.

During an artist residency at the German porcelain factory Meissen Manufactory, Arlene Shechet made plaster reproductions of original factory molds. She then produced a variety of cast, hand-painted porcelain forms and her molds of molds took form for such exhibitions as ‘Meissen Recast’ and ‘All in One’. I learned about Arlene Shechet’s process and 20 months of research at the Meissen factory during an artist lecture she gave at SAIC and then I visited one iteration of this project at the Frick Collection for her installation ‘Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection’. Her engagement with the mutability of material, history, and the vernacular captivates my imagination.

I keep dipping back into Kirsty Bell’s The Artist’s House: from Workplace to Artwork. In it Katharina Grosse describes the moment she decided to spray her bedroom in Dusseldorf with paint. ‘I sprayed it as I had left it, and left everything as it was.’ Grosse often speaks of the event as a turning point in her work, though there is only photo documentation of this watershed moment. I’ve heard Katharina Grosse speak in lectures about how she discovered narrative through this action. In Kirsty Bell’s interview Katharina says, “This is the most private place where you find different connections to things. You lie, you are in a kind of image space, imagination is like another realm. Thinking and pictorial space are very close to one another, whereas this materialization of our life is far away from thought.”

How do you go about naming your work?

As I work, I jot down fragmentary, evolving impressions of what I am making. From these sketches titles are altered much like a collage, in a way similar to William S. Burroughs cut-up techniques. The names also mirror the iterative ways material is used in my installations.  My Hothouse works, for example, are installations that have material overlap as well as related names, but are radically re-imagined for each exhibition context.

Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?

I’m working on an artist book that is a reimagined version of my installation Collecting Within. The publication is designed to act like a collection itself, comprised of 150 accordion books of varying lengths, stacked within an origami-like cube. Each copy varies slightly in the collection it contains. Included in the book are creative text pieces by Lisa Stone, Curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection and Eve Kalugin, Shapiro Graduate Fellow. The work also features a pamphlet-bound essay by Alison Grant, Assistant Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

The photographs in the book depict observations of Roger Brown’s things, photo historical images, the collections that ornament the shelves and stairs of my own home, and installation views of related works I have made. In Collecting Within, the iterations of my process are placed together in a non-hierarchical way and in a manner offering a new series of picture relationships with each encounter. This artist book pays homage to his lifelong accumulation, and to the many wandering pathways through it. My own travels through the Roger Brown Study Collection allowed me to experience the collection itself as a wild assemblage: it is a collage that is activated as the viewer’s body passes through it.

aimeebeaubien.com

All images courtesy of the artist
Published date: 5/4/17

Hothouse flipside at Submissive Exhibitions, The Mission

Submissive Exhibitions is pleased to announce the opening for Aimée Beaubien's solo exhibition Hothouse flipside.

In Hothouse flipside, bold leaf shapes and twisting ribbons of color entwine, dangle, cluster and creep in a makeshift basement garden. Botanical life is drawn in the illusory space of photographic representation, or drawn with scissors. My photographs are cut into colorful shapes that interweave, encircle, and hang; trail in ribbon-like shreds; and become wild ornamental outgrowths. Visual oscillations between form and image reflect on the perceptual shifts between photographic depiction and physical encounter.

Gardens are marked by time. Various cycles of life move at different speeds. Interdependent systems multiply, bloom, grow, intertwine, and die. My subterranean garden is constructed through processes of translation, revision, cutting and reassembling, reflecting the temporal complexity of the garden, and of the photographic encounter.

From a visit with INSIDE\WITHIN's Kate Sierzputowski and Ashleigh Dye

Our conversation trailed through the studio and into garden with INSIDE\WITHIN's Kate Sierzputowski and Ashleigh Dye. Thank you both for continuing to provide such great insight into the workspaces and processes of artists connected to Chicago.

Aimée Beaubien’s Woven Imagery

Collecting images like objects, Aimee slices her photographic documentation into pieces that are then woven into large three-dimensional forms. These works, which often hang collectively from the ceiling, are filled with information and bits of data from friends, family, and strangers’ personal collections. By intricately collaging the photographs Aimee allows personal histories to align with those from collected sources, using photographs taken at places such as the Roger Brown Study Collection and Museum of Contemporary Photography.

INSIDE\WITHIN

Aimée Beaubien’s Woven Imagery

Collecting images like objects, Aimee slices her photographic documentation into pieces that are then woven into large three-dimensional forms. These works, which often hang collectively from the ceiling, are filled with information and bits of data from friends, family, and strangers’ personal collections. By intricately collaging the photographs Aimee allows personal histories to align with those from collected sources, using photographs taken at places such as the Roger Brown Study Collection and Museum of Contemporary Photography.

I\W: Could you talk a bit about your source imagery for your collages? Are they typically photographs that you take yourself?
AB: Approximately 99 percent of the images I use in my collages are photographs I take myself. From time to time however I do incorporate some images that my great grandmother made. She made photographs every day of her life, and I inherited her archive, which dates all the way back to 1910. She had this collage on her fridge while I was growing up as a kid that has subconsciously influenced every single artistic move that I have made in my practice. Every once in awhile I will rephotograph her pieces, or just include originals in my installations. She was my primary influence, and was the first to teach me about collage. I keep returning to her work because it was such a potent part of my visual vocabulary as a child.

I\W: How did your residency at the Roger Brown Study Collection influence your practice?
Well, this particular installation that I have in my house was compiled from images I took within the collection. I spent an entire year moving in and out of the collection in both of his homes in Lincoln Park and New Buffalo, Michigan. Brown and his partner were really ambitious collectors, and collected everything from popular culture to really amazing outsider art. He also had all sorts of indigenous crafts from all over the world. His tastes were wild and all over the place. It has been fun for me to consider how his personal collection informed the decisions he made in his own production, how my personal collection informs what I do, and then how most artists implicitly collect, even the ones that consider themselves minimalists.

I\W: Was this the experience that inspired your piece at the Museum of Contemporary Photography for their 40th anniversary exhibition?
I wanted that installation to look like a cabinet of wonder and to be thick with material. That was my experience being in Roger’s space. There is just work that covers the space from floor to ceiling. It is all so overwhelming and exciting and dense. I really tried to capture that feeling or that intensity. The piece was an iteration of what is currently in my home but much, much larger. The final installed work was 11 feet tall, 9 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. I condensed it for this space when it returned to my studio, but here is where I really worked it out before it was installed in order to get a sense of how much material I needed.

I\W: How did you incorporate your own collection into the installation to mirror Roger Brown’s?
Well, the museum exhibition was specifically about highlighting and celebrating 40 years of their own collection, so when they invited me to do this site-specific piece, I just started thinking about what aspects of the history of photography were most important to me. I always go back to William Henry Fox Talbot and these photographs he took of his personal collection. Also, my work was installed in the museum’s stairwell which was important for me because of the separation my stairwell in my home provides. It is a link and divide between my studio space and my living space with my husband. Our stairwell is covered with my husband’s whiskey jugs, so everything came together when I started to think of these vessel forms I walk past daily on my staircase in relationship to the vessels in Talbot’s still lifes. I then began connecting them to my images of Roger Brown’s collection and started considering my photographs as these vessels of memory. So I began cutting silhouettes of vessels into photographs.

I\W: You are layering diverse histories within your collage, including your own. However each of the works ends up being so bright and joyful. Is that an intention in your installations, or is that just what your eye is drawn to when photographing the world?
I manipulate the color within my photographs. I tend to gravitate towards bright color palettes, but I’m also pushing my works towards them as well through digital manipulation. A lot of that has to do with these colors I am discovering in my great grandmother’s work, especially as the works age. They have a really warm past. When I first worked in photography I was working in the dark room. I was drawn to color and would apply it to the monochromatic work, but I didn’t really know how to incorporate it fully. When I made the transition to digital I went crazy and I remain super interested in experimenting with color.

I\W: Can you talk about your process when creating your 3D collaged forms? How did your work move from 2D to 3D?
Some of the 3D work came out of a project I created at DEMO Project in Springfield, IL, which I consider my very first site-specific installation. While preparing for the exhibition I was noticing how my domestic studio environment was influencing the decisions I was making in my work, and I was excited about having a house as an actual site for the exhibition. For that show I created this huge pile of furniture and then built a giant beanstalk. It looked as if it was growing and overtaking everything, which was based on some things that were happening in my backyard. I had let some vines get out of control because I was interested in watching their woven patterns and observing how they overtook other plant life. I was also reading JG Ballard’s post-apocalyptic novel The Drowned World that he wrote in the 1960’s. I was excited about the chaos of a domestic space being overtaken by this natural form. That prompted this whole weaving of the image thing, which started last summer.

I\W: Why did you decide to weave the images together?
Right before the exhibition at DEMO Project I had visited Santa Fe, NM. I went to a gallery recommended by a friend that had these amazing baskets and I asked if I could photograph them. I spent hours doing this, but couldn’t figure out what to do with these photographs. I decided to just cut them apart and weave them back together into basic basket forms. I am really confused about how to visually understand the way digital information is captured and converted into 1’s and 0’s and then turned back into an image again. For me, my woven images are weird metaphors for these digital processes I don’t seem to fully understand. I am physically pulling the images apart and then putting them back together again.

I\W: Why do you choose to leave untouched photographic moments in your work alongside the more sculptural pieces?
One thing that is interesting to me is how frequently people who are active viewers of collage automatically leap to the conclusion that it is appropriated imagery. I totally get that based on the history of collage and the way that I often photograph other people’s artwork, so there is definitely a nod to appropriation, but they are still my photographs, and they still are radically different from what the original source image may have been. I thought about experimenting with this idea of potentially reintroducing more whole moments from my photographs. I don’t really know what this is yet. It is a newer impulse that I feel is an outgrowth of this satisfaction in making the vessel forms. I think I am trying to figure out if I would be comfortable making a rectilinear photograph which I have not done for a very long time. Or is it more exciting for me to cut forms out of my rectilinear photographs? How much can I cut away? When do you recognize the form as a photograph? When is it just material? For me there is so much meaning in the making of these things. I think that it is a really charged visual experience to make them, but to also view them and experience them.

I\W: Now that you have been making the sculptural forms with your photographs, does this influence how you capture the original image?
Totally. I think that is why I play so much with shallow depth of field. I think about an out of focus area more as fabric. I think everything really shifted for me when I did a residency in Austria and it happened to coincide with the Venice Biennale. I decided to spend a week there photographing. I thought I would just make photographs as documentation of exhibitions to share with my students, and then I noticed I was taking photographs in really weird ways. I wasn’t documenting the shows. I was really interested in the intersections between the contemporary art and then this really robust decorative palace. It was such an incongruous and exciting meet-up for me. I decided that this could be material to make work from. I started photographing things differently because I was already anticipating cutting them up.

 

 

Gusts in the Hothouse

Gusts in the Hothouse, 2016

THE COLLECTION | Where Art Meets Fashion | Fashion Outlets of Chicago | Rosemont, IL

All of the photographs contained within Gusts in the Hothouse were taken in my garden, my mother’s garden, and public gardens near my home in Chicago and my parent’s home in Florida. Lately I have been reflecting on gardens as places where taxonomies and aesthetics intersect with unpredictable elements: as spaces defined by interactions of order, disorder, and temporality. My recent work has been focused on gardens as collections that are ephemeral, evolutionary, and seasonal. In gardens, interconnected systems grow and reproduce. Hybrids flourish. Gardens are portrayals of time. They are marked by seasonality; by various internal cycles of life moving at different speeds: interdependent systems blooming, growing, intertwining, and dying. They represent a kind of inertia toward disorder: our post-apocalyptic visions always feature cities overgrown, being consumed again by nature. I use the garden as a framework to explore the complex attachments formed, individually and institutionally, for what we collect: the tangible and the intangible.

study for Gusts in the Hothouse

Gusts in the Hothouse, 2016
photographs, paracord, grow lights, oscillating fan

Aimée Beaubien’s photographic practice takes shape in inventive forms. Responses to color, pattern, space, structure, time and place are translated from her printed photographs into sculptural interventions. Gusts in the Hothouse meditates on the garden as a space defined by interactions of order, disorder, and temporality. Gardens are collections and conveyors of time from the evolutionary to the ephemeral. They are marked by seasonality; by various internal cycles of life moving at different speeds. Interdependent systems multiply, bloom, grow, intertwine, and die. Gardens are nature gathered together; immaculately tended or grown wild; public space or private refuge. These botanical entanglements provoke a series of experiential shifts between visual representation and physical encounter: leaning, shooting, bedded, staked, staying. Drooping, reclining, pitched, and placed. Sloping, jutting, braced. Holding, heaped. Planted and spread.