Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Shadow Work, a solo exhibition by Abigail Goldman. The artist returns for her third solo show with the gallery featuring a new series of wickedly clever miniature dioramas resembling everyday sceneries of homes, storefronts and city streets. These seemingly innocent representations are clashed with murderous characters creating a strange, small universe where chaos reigns.
Shadow Work's collection of plastic sculptures are in 1:87 scale – part of an ongoing series of small works the artist calls ‘dieoramas’. The small tableaus feature figures under an inch tall that, at first glance, appear to be simple, suburban scenes – a bedroom, a bathroom, a bucolic backyard barbecue. On closer inspection, the ‘dieoramas’ are miniature mayhem: bodies are dismembered, blood flows, weapons are raised, forks are poised to dine on flesh. This juxtaposition – cute miniatures busy with savage and brutal cruelties – is meant to disarm the viewer with a surprise send-up of violence that has become almost banal in American culture. For many people, a jaw-clenching rage runs just under the surface, becoming an undercurrent that bubbles up through cracks and fissures in our culture, which is always more angry, more aggressive, more inured to the inhumane and vile.
The title 'Shadow Work' is taken from psychiatrist Carl Jung’s concept of the “shadow self” archetype – the repressed, dark aspects of personality that, if left unexplored, becomes only “blacker and denser.” These ‘dieoramas’ represent their own kind of shadow work; a medium that mines the depths of gallows humor and provides a kind of catharsis, containing our collective rage and making it cute, laying bare our shadow selves that are always there, anxious, angry and ready to snap.