AIDAN KOCH // the marble hand

On view May 2 - June 2, 2013
Opening reception for the artist First Friday, May 3 (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.)

I want to travel only on the curve of an arm…

Resembling treasured finds culled during an archeological foray, the diverse artwork on view for Aidan Koch’s first solo exhibition at Nationale, The Marble Hand, reverberates with the haunting narratives of a now long-lost culture. Appropriating the anthropologist’s distanced lens, Koch loosely threads together these ancient tales into a multiplicity of voices that uproot, rearrange, and question our conception of a fixed history. Her illustrated, textile, and sculptural pieces similarly compel both a visceral reaction and a romantic idolization appropriate to their ancient, yet canonic, symbolism. However, from collected fragments of shattered sculptures to travel diary sketches of intriguing, aesthetic details, the works’ incompleteness also mirrors the haze of human memory by leaving room for contemporary interpretation. In this manner, like the eternal flame of the Delphic oracle, the evocations of her nuanced display flicker mysteriously between artifact and art, past and present, fact and fiction.

Born and raised in Washington State, Aidan Koch received her BFA in illustration from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Her work has been exhibited internationally at such spaces as Huis Haas (Antwerp), Beginnings (Brooklyn), and Fylkingen (Stockholm), with a recent solo show at Skylab in Columbus, OH. Koch’s drawings also regularly grace the pages of periodicals like The New York Times, Oxford American, and The Portland Mercury and she has published several critically acclaimed narrative works including The Blonde Woman (2012) and The Whale (2010), the latter nominated for an Oregon Book Award in graphic literature. In addition to her art practice, Koch is currently pursuing a lifelong dream of horsemanship in Central California.

May previews by John Motley for The Oregonian

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