Gabrielle Duggan gabrielle duggan




b. Buffalo, NY
Gabrielle (Gabe) Duggan is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas and is represented by AH Arts Manhattan, NY.
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Working in the context of a rich tradition, I stretch "women's work" to restore power to marginalized subjects.

I create installations which combine techniques of traditional fiber work with disparate materials to expose physical and social tensions. I embrace and push expectations of traditional fiber work to question inequalities within contemporary performances of gender and exhibitions of power, most exemplified by rape culture.

Installations are constructed precariously in three-dimensional space, by applying fiber work principles of tension and repetition to post-consumer, post-industrial, and traditional fine art and craft materials (Wisteria, 2015). Fiber, glass, and roofing tar balance in a mutual tension (altared spine, 2014); metal constructions, bound by fibers, are held in tension by magnets which never connect (within, without, 2016). By building elaborate, inherently vulnerable systems of balance and tension, the viewer's physical presence is dwarfed by impermanence, a historically gendered value in works of fine art. Through foregrounds and backgrounds that shape-shift depending on perspective, initial perceptions are undermined, aesthetic and material hierarchies become disoriented.

Ambiguity pervades these works, signifying slippage of power from one subject to another. Through suggestive text (it is some time, 2015), tenuous balancing (fictitious force, 2013), or the build up of physical tension (Abstracts, 2016), I present power as elusive rather than fixed; socially-constructed and upheld, similar to a belief system. These enigmatic presentations allow room for personal interpretation and individual experience, in shared settings. When performing with sound or image, I step into these roles directly, inhabiting spaces of both lost and self-possessed power. In Consensus Reality (2016) for instance, the Woman of Wisdom is suspended in knowledge that she possesses but is not asked to share. This character is one of three in this work, all of which are shown simultaneously owning and being owned by various structures of power.