MP Fusco is the antithesis of the observational naturalist. In her work, Fusco erases, layers, multiplies, places, drops, drags, rests, reproduces, reverses, and rubs; performing a series of field experiments to create a forgery of nature.
Fusco’s ‘swarms’ on paper are less about the entomology of wasps and caterpillars, and more concerned about how the charcoal and graphite crawl across the surface. Her tools dig so far into the fabric of the paper that black filament begins to lift off the stripped page. Materials are taken to their end point and beyond.
Loosely based on the visual forms and patterns of a beehive, white clay is mixed with red-oxide to build sculptural forms that hint of a non-linear constitution. Beautiful striations curving into themselves suggest the initial layering is interrupted and redirected by the nature of the clay itself. Resting on the floor, these large ‘rocks’ stand as testament against human prescription — as un-contained nature.
In recent years, artists have been exploring taxonomy with subversive feminist approaches. In the vein of artists like Rosemarie Trockel and Carol Bove, MP Fusco meddles with our perceptions of women’s relationship to scientific investigation. Rather than sitting still and observing subjects in gardens while tied up in petticoats and lace-up boots, Fusco gives the material permission to dictate its own image. The works are guided by materials and their material limitations. Like a Borgesian conundrum, it is unclear whether the artist created the image or the image created her — whether the potato spoke or she spoke for the potato.