Aspect Ratio: Iris Bernblum

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I’ll be here

Aspect Ratio Gallery
119 N Peoria, Unit 3D, Chicago IL 60607
February 19th – March 5th
Free and open to the public


Iris Bernblum

Much of my work explores ideas of tension and release, power and play. I look at where the line between what might be considered normal and abnormal behavior is drawn and what defines it. I am fascinated by the possibilities of quiet subversion.
I often begin exploring these concepts by creating fictional relationships between two beings: friends, lovers, enemies, siblings, animals. I like to imagine their relationship as a kind of folie à deux or shared mania. The characters need one another in order to realize the situations or fantasies I’ve created for them. Once a script is complete I use it as the basis for making objects, spaces, performances, and atmospheres which translate the essential ideas of the narrative into three-dimensions.
Much of my work speaks to performance. The dialogues I write are often left as just that, but the actions they reference leave open the possibility of something having actually happened or something impending. Did they or didn’t they? Will they or won’t they? Reality or fantasy?
My most recent work emerges from a new script in which the characters construct a circus fantasy, with one playing a kind of ringmaster and the other being directed through a series of “acts.” In this piece I am particularly interested in exploring the idea of taming: animals, impulses, wild things.
It is important for me that the space I work in (my studio), the space I invite people into, and the work itself be very much the same thing. The studio must feel like I have physically entered the space created by my script, a kind of theater. But the individual objects within that space must also be able to stand on their own, speak to other ideas, and move into other spaces. Finality or completion has never been very interesting to me. I am drawn to the idea that the work is in constant motion and transformation, always changing and interacting with its surroundings. The scripts I write never come to an endpoint, and neither do the things or spaces that emerge from them.


single channel video

Iris Bernblum
I’ll be here, 2016

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