Rub Me the Wrong Way by Traci Talasco

BAC Gallery is pleased to present Rub Me the Wrong Way, an installation that will transform BAC Gallery into an interactive, domestic environment created entirely out of sandpaper. Talasco uses beauty and humor to reference unrealistic notions of female identity within the home.

Opening Reception: 
Friday, September 26, 2014, 6-9pm 

Traci Talasco transforms BAC Gallery into an interactive, domestic environment created entirely out of sandpaper. Rub Me the Wrong Way humorously represents how women have become worn out by their absurd attempts to to fit “ideal” standards, juggling their home and work life. This immersive, tactile installation includes floral wallpaper, wainscoting, molding and a tile patterned floor all made from various grades of sandpaper. Gallery visitors will be able to walk through the space listening to the scratching sounds their steps generate, eventually wearing down the sandpaper floor to create a visual map of pedestrian traffic.

Rub Me the Wrong Way refers to the unrealistic, societal expectations placed upon women to “do it all.” Despite the fact that many women have successful careers, the media continues to perpetuate outdated expectations of women as homemakers. Likewise, advertisements for household products and baby items primarily target women. On the rare occasion men are featured in this role, they are often unfairly portrayed as inadequate, further reinforcing gender stereotypes that can be harmful to both sexes and can leave women attempting to live up to an unreasonable ideal. 

Using the notion of home, a stereotypical female domain, Talasco creates an environment that depicts the emotional aspects of these issues in an entertaining way, while also evoking a sense of beauty. The floor and wallpaper patterns read as a kitchen space, a room always associated with domestic chores. Sandpaper is typically utilized to wear down rough patches and smooth the walls. Its use as a medium illustrates this contradiction between the rough, the texture of the sandpaper, the pressure women put on themselves, versus the softness and beauty that home evokes. This installation includes thousands of pieces of both hand cut and laser cut sandpaper, and ironically, is quite labor intensive to produce, which speaks directly to the repetitive nature of domestic chores in an almost obsessive manner.  

About the Artist:

Traci Talasco’s sculptures and interactive installations use architecture like a stage to make simple, everyday acts unnecessarily complicated, challenging, or absurd. Female identity within the home and unrealistic societal expectations often come into play. Sections of walls, floors, and interior spaces are stripped of their intended function, creating a new relationship to our bodies. Architectural arrangements become emotionally complex in humorous ways. Sometimes the pieces pose a physical challenge, such as walking through an obstacle, balancing a floor, or climbing waves of carpeting. Other times they change the viewer’s perspective by inviting them to lie down or by obstructing their view.

Talasco uses ordinary home construction materials and decorative elements, such as plywood, wallpaper, carpeting and furniture. As part of her process Talasco makes models and drawings for larger scale installations. She also uses writing as a springboard for her ideas or she starts with a material that she is attracted to and works with its inherent associations.

Talasco has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her most notable solo installations are “How You Seduce Me (Brought to you by Glidden)” at Art Space, New Haven, Connecticut and “.0000918 Acres” at McGrath Galleries, New York City. Select group exhibitions include Masquelibros at the Architecture Institute of Madrid, Madrid Spain and the International Center for Photography, New York City; BRIC Media Arts Center’s Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; Art in Odd Places, New York City; Locust Projects, Florida; Harvestworks, New York City and Tilt Gallery + Project Space, Portland, Oregon. Talasco has also participated in several artist residencies including the Bronx Museum of the Arts (AIM program) and CUE Art Foundation in New York City.

Traci Talasco’s work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Flash Art International, and the Village Voice and is included in several exhibition catalogs. She received a BFA from Tyler School of Art /Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1996. She is also an Arts Educator with Studio in a School, teaching fine art residencies in New York City public schools.