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Arden Surdam: Nausea

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Galveston Artist Residency presents, NAUSEA, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist, Arden Surdam. For her first show in Texas, Surdam presents six photographs alongside a freshwater aquatic installation and a custom donut-shaped algae tank, which will cultivate the growth of cyanobacteria (spirulina) during the exhibition period. Through ongoing research on the coded relationship between art and food, Surdam’s work probes the convergence of class, art history, and culinary traditions. Directing viewers to tune into the historical use of food and its visual representation, the artist transgresses established conventions of cultural patterning and class-determined consumption. The photographs presented in NAUSEA feature food matter like liver, rayfish, and oysters, a reference to the canonical paintings of Soutine, Bacon, and Chardin. These elegantly grotesque substances, conflate delectability, opulence, and repulsion within the still life. In addition to food materials, Surdam interjects images torn from the pages of American 1970s international cuisine cookbooks, which present visual directions on how to cook sophisticated, intercontinental meals. By re-photographing these images, the artist disrupts the intentionality of food worldliness, questioning prescribed notions of value with […]

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