Erin Zerbe - Professional Work Samples

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 10.18.26 PM.png

#1

Crystal Release -Time Lapse Performance Piece

2017

Exploring the meditative nature of ephemeral and natural materials, this piece combines stones, wood, crystals, and essential oils into sculptural installations. I used crystals like clear and smoky quartz which have a history of protective and healing properties, combined with essential oils like frankincense and lavender in small ice molds. I place the molds in various positions on drift wood and stones and then quietly meditate on themas they melt.  The melting ice releases the scents of the oils and the crystals trapped inside. The process becomes a metaphor for the ways we lock things inside ourselves that can only be understood and released through deep introspection and quiet contemplation.  

 

#2, #3, #4,

Crystal Meditation Animations

2017

These short stop motion animations are a part of a larger project in progress, and are designed to be shown in a looping display in a gallery context. These stop motion animations use various crystals and precious stones to explore natural elements. The crystals in each excerpt were chosen based on chakra color and metaphysical properties used by ancient shamans and healers throughout history. These short animations are apart of a larger project in progress involving the role of the shaman as artist in modern culture.  The animation to the right is a part of this larger project as well. Designed to move with the pace of various meditative breath work, these animated patterns explore heartbeats, chakra colors, and clearing stale energy.

 
Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 10.35.14 PM.png

#5

The Trouble With Women - 3D Projection Mapping

This piece is a collaborative 3D projection installation with fellow artist Tim VanBeke. The work, titled "The Trouble With Women" shows the impossibly narrow and constraining boxes that women are expected to simultaneously occupy. Mother, virgin, whore, bitch...etc. These archetypal representations of women confine and contradict the often myriad and complex ways that women experience their gender throughout their lifetime. Using appropriated videos from archive.org, youtube, and personal videos dealing with body image, we created a piece that talks about the impossible standards set by patriarchal society. "The Trouble With Women" serves as a double entendre, speaking to the troubling nature of contradictory existence while also referencing the oppressive and misogynistic way culture teaches us to see women as less that whole people.

 

 

#6

Grab Back - Origami Folded Comic

Grab Back is a short 8-page origami-folded comic that tells the story of my first sexual assault, and how the news surrounding Donald Trump’s election has impacted me as a survivor of sexual abuse. As a personal narrative, the work is designed to be small and intimate, drawing a connection to the reader as I share a painful memory from my past. I chose to work in stylized colored pencil and graphite, to evoke a more child-like and loose style. I wanted the work to be approachable and the art style to seem innocent to contrast the narrative it tells. I tried to use gesture and contour to convey anger, sadness, and movement. I decided to end the book with the number to the sexual assault national hotline, in hopes that other victims of abuse can find help and solidarity.
 

This work was included in the zine "State of the Union" published May of 2017. This piece also appeared in the digital zine "Terps Trump Hate" published March 2017, and was exhibited as part of the project "In Care Of", a collection of artworks that were made in response to Donald Trump's election, and mailed to the White House. Huffington Post published an article about this collection of work, and discussed "Grab Back" as a part of that story. 

 
Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 10.50.41 PM.png

#7

Lost At Sea - Mini-Comic

Lost at Sea is a handmade mini comic about the grief I felt after the sudden death of my father. I scanned the certificate of my father's cremation along with the envelope it came in, and used them as a spring board to create the single page, folded comic inside. The finished piece measures approximately 2" x 3.5" and folds out to a full 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. It is stored in an handmade envelope that is a tiny replica of the cremation envelope including some digitally painted details.

This piece has been included in the artist publication "Under the Sea" by Out of Step Books, as well as the 2016 issue of Eclipse Literary Journal. Produced in part during the week long residency at Sequential Artists Workshop in Gainesville Florida, 2016. 

 

#8

WERQ

This video was created using a glitch technique called "datamoshing" or "pixel-bending". This process allows the artist to intentionally break the video codec, revealing the underlying structure of the programing language associated with digital files.

In this piece, I'm using 2 source videos found on youtube: one of a 10 year old girl at a dance competition, the other of an adult female dancing erotically as a promotional video for a strip club. In "moshing" these two videos together, I'm forcing the comparison of the over-sexualization of women's bodies. I'm also calling attention to the implication of sexualizing young girls too soon. The native audio tracks where left in the finished piece.

This piece screened at Art | Basel Miami at the Koubek Center, Miami, FL in 2014. 

 
recline2.jpg

#9, #10

Facebook Ads - Glitch Series

The images in this series were created by going into the hexadecimal code of the image files in order to purposefully glitch and destroy them. I started with nude self-portraits, and inside each image, I went into the code and added textual data to begin breaking and modifying the photo. The textual data used to break the images came from the hexadecimal code from a facebook ad geared at weight loss or body image. 

After using the code from the ad to disrupt the code from the self-portrait, I then went back into the self-portrait and added in brief statements about how the ads made me feel about myself or my body. The textual date of each confession, fear, or anxiety further broke the self portrait, revealing this ugly glitch or interruption in the image.

By allowing part of the glitched image, the ads, and the underlying code to come together, I'm working with the same language of code, control, structure and layering to draw connections to societal structures, cultural paradigms, and unfair dichotomies that affect us all, both on the screen, and in real life.  

A selection of this series was shown during Art | Basel Miami at the Koubek Center, Miami, FL in 2014. 

 
Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 10.59.19 PM.png

#11, #12, #13

CONTROL Series

 depicts the affects of various control garments on my body. By showing the physical trauma these garments cause to the flesh, I’m hoping to draw connections to the deep and pervasive emotional traumas many women feel about their bodies. The stigma of size and fatness is so prominent in our culture, that many women subject their bodies to this type of physical restraint everyday, in an effort to occupy less space. The video is an excerpt from an 18-minute performance in which I put on layer after layer of oppressive control garments, each one tighter than the one before it.  By showing myself from the neck down, I am referencing the “headless” way in which fat people are often portrayed in the media. My limited soundtrack works to reinforce the anxiety and claustrophobia for the viewer as they watch me struggle to breathe and move. 

This work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally, including:

2012 Body Magic, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD

2011 CONTROL, FAB Gallery, Richmond VA

2015 EXPO 34, BJ Spoke Gallery, Huntington, NY

2014 Identity, Nine5 Gallery, NYC, NY

2014 Who We Aren’t, Union Street Gallery, Chicago, IL

2014 Woman, Flow Art Space, St. Paul, MN

2012 Biennale de Palermo, GIUSEPPE SCIORTINO, Palermo, Sicily

2012 CUTTING EDGE: Masters in Contemporary Art, Auditorium al Duomo, Florence, Italy

2012 Dublin Biennial 2012, Sol Art Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

2012 New Waves 2012, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, VA

2012 Beauty Comes in Many Forms, Linus Gallery, Pasadena, CA

2012 The Human Form, Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, VT

2014 Positive ID: Bodies and Subjectivities in Photography, The Gallery - NOVA Woodbridge, VA

2012 Look Attractive, University of Kansas, KS

2012 Omen Art: The Collective Debut Minicine Gallery, Shreveport, LA

2012  (e)merge Art Fair 2012, Capital Skyline Hotel, Washington DC

2012 Faculty Exhibition: Siena Heights University, Klemm Gallery, Adrian, MI

2011  Kinetic Imaging Faculty Show, Franklin Terrace, VCU, Richmond, VA

 

 
waxcu1.jpg

#14, #15, #16

DEBRIS- Photographs

This macro images explore the "debris" associated with common beauty rituals many women go though. Large-scale images of make-up removal wipes, bikini wax strips, and clumps of hair explore each of these discarded items in an abstract closeness. These extremely close up photographs investigate these subjects at an intimate level. This work uses the visual language of abstract body landscapes to unpack and critique the way those images are often achieved. In framing these bits of bodily trash with a critical lens, the images transform the debris from abject objects to forms worthy of objectification. This work seeks to examine and critique the dichotomy of natural and altered bodies and the balance of desire and repulsion.

These bits of trash reference the body of the artist, without actually displaying it, which permits deeper exploration and contemplation on the ways many women elect to alter and debase their bodies for the sake of beauty. This exhibition serves as an opportunity to have a larger conversation about the role of internalized and externalized misogyny, and how these forces are visited up women in ways that often go unnoticed. Debris places the trash associated with the beauty ritual under the microscope, allowing viewers to look on in morbid curiosity, recoil in disgust, and question their own culpability in the cultural perception of women’s bodies as both abject and object. 

This work was included in a solo exhibition titled DEBRIS at ARTifact Gallery in New York, NY in 2015 as well as a solo exhibition called Scattered Fragments at the Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL in 2014. 

hairball1.jpg
CU-particles3.jpg
 
IMG_0724.jpeg
IMG_0743.jpeg

#17, #18, #19

DEBRIS - Objects

In conjunction with the close up photography, each of the actual, physical objects are displayed in the gallery as well. While the images have an organic sensuality, the objects are displayed in a cold, scientific, and clinical way. The juxtaposition of these two display choices reinforces the dichotomous way women’s bodies are expected to simultaneously be naturally attractive yet clearly altered to meet the stringent beauty standards set forth by our culture.

 The make up removal wipes are installed in a grid, which dominates the gallery wall, calling attention to the tedious and repetitive way in which women alter their appearance. Each wipe is meticulously fixed to the wall referencing the detached way we dissect and inspect insects and small animals.  The wax strips and pubic hair are cast in resin bricks. A collection of 1 year's worth of hair shed from brushing, combing, and showering, is shown ratted and tangled together. This sculpture functions in the same fashion, presenting the body’s debris in a manor that begs for clinical distance and curious examination.

This work was included in a solo exhibition titled DEBRIS at ARTifact Gallery in New York, NY in 2015 as well as a solo exhibition called Scattered Fragments at the Peoria Art Guild, Peoria, IL in 2014. 

IMG_0748.jpeg