It is said that we become who we are by internalizing the stories we tell ourselves. Elise Rasmussen’s artworks tell poetic yet unsettling stories about canonical episodes of cultural history. Her contemporary feminist retellings disrupt and reimagine the “unbecoming” meanings buried in established events, unmasking hidden voices, and unraveling tired logics. Elise Rasmussen:Unbecoming presents four video works that engage a range of sources: Surrealism, Sophocles’ Antigone, Modern Art, and the legacy of the heroic Earthworks artist Robert Smithson. In each, Rasmussen exposes how works that are typically regarded as politically utopic (Modernism, Earthworks) or moral (Surrealism, Antigone) nevertheless reiterate a patriarchal framing of history. Often unearthing feminine strength and resistance, she plays against conventions of so-called “unbecoming conduct” that decree what is socially permissible behavior.
Elise Rasmussen received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on a Merit Scholarship (2007) and her BFA with Honours from Ryerson University (2004). Elise is represented by ESP | Erin Stump Projects in Toronto, and her work has been exhibited, performed and screened at international venues including the Brooklyn Museum, CCS Bard Hessel Museum (Annandale-on-Hudson), Pioneer Works (NY), Night Gallery (LA), Standpoint Gallery (London), Werkschauhalle (Leipzig), ThreeWalls (Chicago), Dazibao (Montreal), TPW (Toronto), Gallery 101 (Ottawa), TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin) where she was a recent artist in residence. She has been written about in publications such as Art in America, BOMB Magazine, and the New Inquiry and she has lectured at Parsons The New School (NY), School of Visual Arts (NY), OCAD University (Toronto), the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), IADT (Dublin) and Kuvataideakatemia (Helsinki). Elise was a recent Fellow of the Art & Law Program in New York and is an artist in residence at the Nirox Foundation in South Africa this Fall. Originally from Edmonton, Canada, Elise is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Elise Rasmussen: Unbecoming is curated by Katherine Behar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College. The exhibition is made possible by support from the Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC) and the Newman Library.
All images appear courtesy of the artist.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the gallery spaces in the Newman Library are closed to the public until further notice.
The New Media Artspace is a teaching exhibition space in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College, CUNY. Housed in the Newman Library, the New Media Artspace showcases curated experimental media and interdisciplinary artworks by international artists, students, alumni, and faculty.
The New Media Artspace is open to CUNY students, faculty and staff during regular library hours. Members of the public should bring a state i.d. and request access at the security desk at the second floor entrance to the library. During public hours, ask security to DIAL A DOCENT at x1664