Marissa Long: Blister Pearl

On View: September 9 - December 22, 2023

Wyatt Resident Gallery, Upper Level

Enshrined in a gauzy pink enclosure with a stalagmite-encrusted figure at its center, MoCA Arlington resident artist Marissa Long’s Blister Pearl is an installation that recalls both a Renaissance garden grotto and a saint’s sepulcher, sites synonymous with mystery and transformation. Blister Pearl is filled with objects that seduce and repulse: delicate lilies that grow out of oozing human organs and a large cavity in the belly of the figure that is filled with sparkling geodes. Through these objects, Long reflects on time and decay’s role in creation; the oppositional forces that cause one thing to perish so that another can thrive.

Working across a range of media including photography and sculpture, Marissa Long alters, interrupts and recontextualizes familiar objects, transforming them into signifiers for human emotion; Long challenges a viewer’s expectations by subverting expected outcomes, thereby shifting the focus from the imagery itself to a viewer’s complicated perception of it. Long holds a BFA from Corcoran College of Art & Design (2006). Her photography and sculpture have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions including Instruction Manual at the AFA Gallery at NOVA (Alexandria, VA, 2020); Borrowed From Dust at Arlington Arts Center (2019); Luminiferous Aether at Transformer Gallery (Washington, DC, 2017) and Offerings at Civilian Art Projects (Washington, DC, 2013). Long’s work has been reviewed and featured in publications including The Washington Post and Washington City Paper.

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