In the fall of 2018, I started a teaching position at Harvard University in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and the experience has been most rewarding... It is also a position for which I receive a salary for my creative labor and it helped me understand the necessity of being able to take of oneself financially and holistically while navigating the extremely precarious terrain of being an artist in New York City. I am ever grateful to FCA for finding value in my creative work to support me so significantly and generously during challenging times.
- Carissa Rodriguez, January 14, 2019
Carissa Rodriguez is an artist whose work reflects on the material and social conditions through which art is produced, reproduced, and received. Encompassing cinematic, photographic, and sculptural work, her exhibitions present complex and at times personal narratives that reveal the dynamics in play between artist, audience, and institution.
These artistic concerns are evident in her recent solo exhibitions such as The Maid, SculptureCenter, Long Island City (2018); I'm normal. I have a garden. I'm a person, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2015); La Collectionneuse, Front Desk Apparatus, New York (2013); and Carissa Rodriguez, Karma International, Zurich, Switzerland (2012).
Recent major group exhibitions include MEDUSA, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (2017); Finesse, The Wallach Art Gallery, New York (2016); 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Theater Objects, LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland (2014); Pro-Choice, Fri Art, Fribourg, Switzerland (2013); ProBio, MoMA PS1, Long Island City (2013); Better Homes, SculptureCenter, Long Island City (2013); White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart, Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2013); and Demanding Supplies, Kunstraum der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Lüneburg , Germany (2011). Early in her career, Rodriguez exhibited at American Fine Arts, Co., New York (1999, 1996), and her project The Stand traveled to several institutions internationally (1999-2004).
Rodriguez received a B.A. in Literature from Eugene Lang College at the New School in 1994, and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2001. She was a core member of Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York from 2004 to 2015.
Arriving at art from other places (literature, cinema, subculture), I often feel like a non-artist trespassing in the field of art. The task therefore is to carve a temporary space to exist within it, and through it. This requires taking possession of space, but also accepting a job; in both senses – an occupation. Art for me is a way of living and working that necessitates being ready to exit art at any time, so as to consolidate the internal, external, conscious and unconscious conditions of each departure, in the form of an image, an object, an exhibition.
- January 2018