From 1980-1984, D’Agostino’s Irene series was performed through an alter ego embodiment named Irene who was a “whore with a heart of gold”. In response to objectification of her body, the artist performed as Irene in Animal Magnetism, Roundhouse and Embodied as a way of reclaiming and using her sexuality and body as object. Roundhouse (1983) was performed with only two witnesses at a railroad crossing, where Irene reclaimed the table as an offering table, setting it with a bird’s nest, eggs and milk on the tracks- a pro-sexual feminist act that infiltrated the guarded space of the railroad. Animal Magnetism (1984), performed in collaboration with Sarah Graige, explored the connection between animal and primal gestures and human expressions. Performing for the camera, D’Agostino collaged nude images of herself into works that looked at the body as landscape in Embodied (1980). This background in performance art, the body, nature and land is a continued thread in the artist’s more recent bodies of work, which is demonstrated in the seed archives of Generativity (2016), and works on view in the gallery’s screening room.
Artist Bio: Fernanda D’Agostino’s internationally exhibited installations incorporate sculpture, architecture, interactive video, projection mapping and sound in novel ways. Her work engages themes of movement and growth as catalyzed by phenomena of the natural world, alchemical transformation, complex networks, and human engagement with non-human communities. Having begun her career in the 1980s as a performance artist with a focus on body work, the body and how it engages with space and objects informs all her work. Although no longer performing every installation includes a performance or other live event and often the making of the work involves performative acts by herself and/or collaborators. She continues to use prompts to initiate her own process and to provoke responses from viewers and collaborators. The connecting thread in all her work is placing viewers at the center of an all-encompassing interactive environment, in this sense the viewer becomes the performer in a “prepared environment.” D'Agostino is the recipient of a Bronson Fellowship, Flintridge Foundation Fellowship, and Project Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Precipice Fund and Ford Family Foundation. She’s been a visiting artist at the American Academy of Rome and ArtPark, New York. Notable exhibitions include Festival de la Imagin, Columbia, the SoundWave Biennial San Francisco, 1A Space Hong Kong, CyberFest St Petersburg, Video Guerillha, Sao Paolo, Suyama Space, Western States Biennial, Brooklyn Art Museum, Fuori Festival, Italy, The Virtual Venice Biennale, The Map is not the Territory PAM, and PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival. Her work is in the collections of the Houston Museum, New York Public Library and the Cyland Media Archive in St Petersburg.
Fernanda D’Agostino Animal Magnetism, 1984 Photo documentation, shirt, and chair (performance ephemera) Performed in Paris Gibson Square, Montana.
Fernanda D’Agostino Roundhouse, 1983 Photo documentation, found bird’s nest, and suitcase (performance ephemera) Performed at the Great Northern Railway in Montana.
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