Rachel Schmidt: Distort Displace
Distort Displace reflects Rachel Schmidt’s ongoing exploration of future landscapes, climate change, and artificial habitats, as well as her interest in our response to the drastic changes human activity has brought about in the natural environment. Every year, massive ice shelves break apart and reform at the poles, a dramatic and violent, naturally occurring process that is accelerating and shifting due to climate change. Distort Displace introduces the cracking forms of an ice shelf onto the grounds of AAC, prompting viewers to ponder the dissolution and instability of the very ground beneath their feet. Several low platforms covered in AstroTurf are illuminated from below with pulsing lights, mimicking waves or moving tides. Viewers are invited stand on the platforms or sit in one of the lawn chairs attached to them and consider their own response to life in an ever-shifting and unstable environment.
Distort Displace from Rachel Schmidt on Vimeo.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rachel Schmidt received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and has been an artist in residence at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Isle of Skye, Scotland; Taipei Artist Village in Taipei, Taiwan; Vermont Studio Center; and at the Taller Portobelo Norte in Panama. She was a resident artist at Arlington Arts Center from 2011 to 2016 and has exhibited throughout the US and internationally including exhibitions at Hemphill Fine Arts (Washington, DC), VisArts (Rockville, MD), School 33 (Baltimore, MD), transformer (Washington, DC), Flashpoint Gallery, (Washington, DC), GAIT LA (Los Angeles, CA), and Komuna Otwock Gallery (Warsaw, Poland). Her work has been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, The Washington Post, and in numerous other print and online publications.
This installation is part of a series of three public artworks supported in part by a project grant from the Arlington Commission for the Arts.