The Soft State of Custodia | Bunker Projects, 2020

“The Soft State of Custodia” is the latest iteration of our on-going project “Custodia”. Planned before the pandemic struck, the project– with its cleaning imagery– suddenly felt prescient. We worked with Bunker Projects to develop ways to present the show primarily online, and so it exists mainly through three dimensional panoramas, a video “walk through” made by a Roomba, a podcast review and essay from the writer Anna Mirzayan, and the photos below taken by Ivette Spradlin.

From the press release:

In this newest installation, the artists grapple with the ghost-like presence of the pandemic-now an additional layer in the backdrop of our world. This presence has diffused most all congregations of people into the internet to work and play and watch and buy. Beyond the technology that has enabled our shifting connectivity is our experience of public space and home. Who works-from-home? Has our context of domestic labor shifted away from feminine work?

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In this new age we were introduced to the “essential-business” and “essential-workers” exposing our essential needs and laying them quite bare. Custodia has in turn become a soft space; its softness a gesture against autocratic impulses. It is a sealed space, empty of people, mimicking a closed down house where softly draped forms shelter in place. Here, notions of cleanliness and contamination exist on a continuum of chore and compulsion, serenity and threat. Through illusion, irreverence, and absurd humor, Aldrich and Weissberger dove into this territory.

CUSTODIA | C for Courtside, 2019

Mops, drains, buckets, rags, dustpans, brooms, vacuum cleaners and other tools of cleaning and maintenance form the central imagery of CUSTODIA. Cleaning tools are liminal; dirty in that they are always touching things that are dirty, but necessary for cleanliness. The banal is blurred with the mystical, the chore with the compulsion to create. Dirty and abject things may appear authentic and trustworthy in that they are by definition non-seductive and contain no outer shell of artifice, which infers some interior meaning–though the clutter is arranged, and colors are chosen.

Dirty Work | University of Pittsburgh, 2017

Dirty Work is the third collaborative installation by Eleanor Aldrich and Barbara Weissberger.  In it they continue to explore the tension between illusion and the actual; the dynamic relationship between material and image; and art production as work.

Hive and Double | Grin, Providence 2016

In Hive and Double, Aldrich and Weissberger present a collaborative body of work about the installation or exhibition of large work that blurs the lines between production and product.

Material Outreach Program | the Drawing Center

Installation view of Material Outreach Program at the Drawing Center’s “Name
it by Trying to Name It”, New York, NY, 2015. Dimensions variable.