JOANA RICOU – Multitudes
We have the pleasure to exhibit “Multitudes” by Joana Ricou.
Biology provides us with different perspectives to identify our fragments and re-integrate them. Whitman’s line, “I contain multitudes,” resonates in experience and, increasingly, our scientific understanding of ourselves. We are made of many parts, and many types of parts, that work together in a vibrant cacophony.
This series explores continuity and boundary, ideas which are fundamental to the definition and integrity of our sense of self and individual identity.
Joana Ricou presents Multitudes, an on-line exhibition exploring the multiplicity of the self. We are made of many parts, and many types of parts, organized in many ways at once. In Whitman’s words, we contain multitudes – we are walking cacophonies.
Biology provides us with different perspectives to identify parts of body and mind. We think of the human body (and consequentially of the individual) as a solid whole, neatly separated from the environment by a layer of skin and organized by a central organ. Recent discoveries contradict this, showing that the human body is better understood as a super-organism that includes more non-human than human cells, and that intention and decision making take place and more…
These pieces explore themes of fragmentation and discontinuity in the body, but are completed only when observed, as the viewer’s tendency to seek or project embodiment re-integrates the new-found part.
Ricou’s background in biology cultivated an early interest in how this field challenges our conceptions of the body and self. Findings usually confined to the sphere of science and health are turning out to have psychological, social and existential implications. What does it mean when processes like learning or addiction are found under the microscope? That emotions like fear and psychological constructs like instinct have biological foundations?
Art, including oil painting, has always been a tool for scientists to study and communicate their understanding of the human body. Today, Ricou uses it to explore the present transformation of that understanding.
Joana Ricou studied Biology and Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University (2004) and received an MS in Multimedia Arts from Duquesne University (2009). She has participated in exhibitions and conferences in the United States and Portugal. Highlights include the Spiral of Life series where Joana created a new visual synthesis for evolution and created murals for several museums in Pittsburgh, PA including the Carnegie Science Center, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPQ Aquarium and the Children’s Museum (2009-10) and the Artwalk art show at the Andy Warhol museum also in Pittsburgh, PA. Joana currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Selected exhibition history
(In Pittsburgh, PA unless otherwise noted)
BioArt, Museu Nacional de Historia Natural, Portugal (upcoming)
Open Meserole, NY (upcoming) Eclectic Chaos IIB, Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, NJ (upcoming) Eclectic Chaos IIA, Valley Settlement House, NJ (upcoming)
10x10 in, Charmingwall, NY, NY Quiet Room, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Spiral of Life series, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory Art That Learns, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Evolutionary Art, Make Your Mark
Recent Works, Make Your Mark Forum Internacional de Investigadores Portugueses VI, Lisboa, Portugal FemArt, Your Inner Vagabond Lying Around, Metamorphose
Reflections, 709 Penn Ave Artwalk, Warhol Museum CONNECT 3, Breathe Studio - with Allison Hoge Women’s Work, 709 Liberty Avenue Angles, ModernFormations - with Stacy Gross
Industrially Nude, Headquarters Female Art: The Outside, ASH Galleries (solo) A-HEAD, ASH Galleries Spring Salon Juried Show, Modern Formations (2nd place) With Encyclopedia Destructica: 3 Rivers Arts Festival, Best of 2006 Craft Factory, Andy Warhol Museum Female Art: Out of the Dark, Carnegie Mellon University Center Gallery (solo)