Our collaborative installations combine original objects, sculptures, paintings, and photographs that come together from our separate studios to form a new work. As we work in separate regions of the country, the meeting and melding of our work is phenomenological – a third thing resulting from shared formal sensibilities and overlapping philosophical concerns. The work comes together through Skype chats, emails, individual material investigations, and the final in-person negotiation of the works in relation to each other and in space. In this way, our work explores the nature of collaboration and authorship, and challenges the assumed autonomy of the physical art object by allowing it to be borrowed for different configurations, to live in multiple contexts.
We are curious about perception and reality. Together our work forms structures within which the actual (real) thing, abstraction, pictorial space and physical space freely circulate and mingle. Material and substance are mutable. Idea and matter, belief and doubt, are framed in terms of a fluid, multi-directional exchange. We make (or alter) all the objects in the installations, and even the flattest parts (photograph and canvas) are called out as physical objects. The most obviously physical, the so-called real things (hand-made chair or shoe for example) also hover at the edge of image.
Ultimately mysterious, our work harkens back to a time when the in-situ nature of painting and sculpture put them in close proximity to the actual objects of church and home, and architectural features and physical object guide the transition from the actual to the implied space, and encompasses conversations of metamorphosis and transubstantiation, belief and the nature of reality.
Eleanor Aldrich and Barbara Weissberger met as participants in The Drawing Center’s inaugural Open Sessions program in 2014 where their work was paired based on their mutual affinities. Since meeting they have collaborated on work that has appeared in group exhibitions and a recent solo installation at GRIN Providence. They continue to be curious about the tensions between the actual and illusion.