Ali Dipp: Fair Fabric
1326 South Boyle Avenue
Saturday, April 13 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends May 18, 2024
parrasch heijnen is pleased to present Ali Dipp: Fair Fabric, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. In this new body of work, Ali Dipp continues to explore concepts reflecting upon research-based observations of historic artifacts. Commenting on her references to Lincoln’s Lyceum address and her images of John Trumbull’s paintings installed in the Capitol rotunda, the artist notes: “The pieces in this show contend with the U.S. Capitol between 1814 and 1866. Across these nearly fifty years, the British burned, Union soldiers sheltered, and the deceased body of the assassinated president rested in the Capitol. Fair Fabric exclusively draws from existing historical artifacts, including paintings, plaques, and speeches. Each artwork is constructed entirely of stitch on denim and steel letter appliqué. Ultimately, these thread paintings on Wrangler jeans invoke the creative effort required to achieve aspirational ideals. I made these pieces in my hometown of El Paso. Ten blocks from the Southwestern border, I sewed these textiles on an industrial Brother F40. With the pedal's paint worn off from years of a sole's tapping, someone used this machine to make jeans when El Paso was the denim capital of the world. After NAFTA, the industry moved elsewhere. Regardless, the machine still runs. I wonder who used this Brother before and whose hands flicked the on/off switch I press morning and night. While I will never know the machine's past operator, we use the same material: denim, thread, and metal. After all our work, only the material we make outlives us both. While there is a particular tragedy to the fact that we aspire only to eventually expire, work will forever be crucial to the border. Here, the pursuit of a better life runs across generations. Much like my forefathers who traversed land and sea, I see an America in the making. While my genealogical past provokes me to labor, the constant will to strive is found in this show’s pieces. In taking care to stitch the John Trumbull images in the Capitol rotunda—four paintings of the founders—I feel a proximity to these scenes of consensus. While Trumbull painted these epic historical events in 1817, it mirrors what we do today. After all, are we still not working towards visions we have yet to see? The excerpt from Lincoln's Lyceum address of 1838 splays across three text pieces in the show. Nearly three thousand steel letters sit hand-stitched atop a threaded denim background resembling a monument's tesserae. From afar, the words mend elusively into threaded ‘stone.’ The text only proves legible when closer to these textiles. Much like the sentences from Lyceum Marbles No. 1 – 3, a nation's initial ideals weave in and out of our purview. The country changes, and we are left grappling with conflicting creative forces that comprise a people's struggled hope. Yet, how else must the century's long thread continue from one life of effort to the next? How different is our view from the photograph of Lincoln's second inaugural address, with the Capitol's dome half constructed? The half-rendered structure stood at the end of the Civil War. Eventually, the dome found its way to completion after the war’s end. This fact reminds me that we can still come together even when everything is falling apart. I, too, hold this dream because when I make it with my hands, the process is always just as broken as it is beautiful.” Ali Dipp graduated from the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program in May 2022 with degrees from Brown University (A.B., English) and Rhode Island School of Design (B.F.A., Painting). Dipp is now pursuing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. at Stanford University in Modern Thought and Literature. She is the recipient of the Royal Drawing Academy’s Dumfries Residency in Scotland. Dipp has staged her original plays though the company she co-founded in 2012, Sunhouse Arts. Sunhouse Arts donates all net profits to humanitarian efforts in the El Paso-Juárez area. During the spring and summer of 2021, Dipp co-hosted and was the creator of an iHeartRadio show broadcasted across the Southwest and Mexico, the Pass of the North Radio Show. Public collections include: the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas, TX), and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego, CA).
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