DePaul Art Museum > Exhibitions > Selva Aparicio: In Memory Of
March 14–August 4, 2024
Domestic violence is neither an unfortunate fate for the unlucky few nor the result of bad choices and cruel environments. It is rather a social ill, an epidemic that crosses geographical, cultural, and linguistic barriers. And yet domestic violence is private, existing within someone's home in isolation and extreme vulnerability. For her first solo museum exhibition, In Memory Of, Chicago-based artist Selva Aparicio (b. 1987) transforms each of DePaul Art Museum's first-floor gallery spaces into a domestic setting by way of a careful excavation of the artist's life and memories. The dilemmas arising from the meanings of “public" and “private" in the context of domestic violence operate at both a practical and conceptual level. The exhibition aims to project—from the point of view of children and women—domestic life in an apparently common space, but once observed from close proximity, different pieces and messages are revealed.
Responding to the architecture of the museum, Aparicio creates new site-specific works as well as remakes previous ones such as Childhood Memories, where the artist carves her own childhood rug into the wooden floor. Aparicio digs deep into ideas of memory, death, intimacy, and mourning. Born and raised in the woods just outside of Barcelona, Spain, she found solace in nature from a young age and cultivated a profound interest in life and death as inspired by the natural world around her. Working with nature's ephemera, including dandelions, rose petals, lettuce leaves, and taxidermied animals, among other materials, her practice is an extended death ritual which foregrounds a reverence for the deceased and discarded. Partly inspired by her own story as well as those of others, Aparicio's works present difficult topics and harsh realities but also offer healing through beautiful and minimal installations.
Selva Aparicio: In Memory Of is curated by Ionit Behar, Ph.D., Curator, and organized by DePaul Art Museum as part of the ongoing Learning Studio initiative. Thanks to DePaul students Zoë Hamilton and Bernardo Soares. Support for this exhibition is provided by The Women's Center at DePaul University.
1. Remains, 2013/2024. Lettuce, particle board, and paper. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Selva Aparicio.
2. Childhood Memories, 2017. Hand-carved rug into utility oak wood floor. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Selva Aparicio.