Simone Fischer: OFFAL

Simone Fischer
Astoria Visual Arts
November 13–30, 2021

Offal: the entrails and internal organs of an animal used as food/refuse or waste material/refuse from a process/from af ‘off’ + vallen ‘to fall’

Scarcity is an ideology preached within the all-consuming churn of late-capitalist logics of food stamps, fast food, and monocropping; but have we stopped to consider the potentiality of the cast-offs? OFFAL is part-leftovers, part-exhibition, part-model, and part-offering of an alternative food economy and ethics. In this body of work and praxis, multidisciplinary artist Simone Fischer creates sculptures, installations, steel etchings, and social practice works that grapple with the cultural conditionings of food production, consumption, and (re)cyclings. Drawing inspiration from the unwanted animal refuse, Fischer asks us to take a second look at the materials and processes deemed useless within mass food production that could actually sustain us.

OFFAL is organized by independent curator Laurel V. McLaughlin in collaboration with Simone Fischer and Astoria Visual Arts. The exhibition is accompanied by an opening, on Saturday, November 13th, 12–8 PM and a conversation between the artist and curator on Sunday, November 21st at 12 PM PDT (Zoom available link via AVA Website). Produce for the opening is offered by Salvation Gardens. Fischer’s new works produced for the exhibition were supported by a 2021 residency in the Intermedia program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art of Willamette University.

Simone Fischer (b.1991, Portland, OR) is a multidisciplinary visual artist who specializes in photography, historical archives, installation, sculpture, writing and performance. Simone holds a B.A. in Gender Studies & Philosophy at Portland State University (2013), and an M.F.A in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in 2020. Her work has been shown in multiple venues in Portland, including the Lodge Gallery (2018), 511 Gallery at PNCA (2020), and her solo show 213 at the Glass Gallery at PNCA (2020). She has exhibited internationally at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany (2020) and attended artist residencies at Caldera Arts in Sisters, OR (2019). She was the 2021 artist-in-residence at after/time in preparation for her solo exhibition, a sermon for crows, June 4–July 1, 2021. She is currently the 2021 artist-in-residence in the Intermedia department of the Pacific Northwest College of Art of Willamette University where she also serves as an MFA student mentor. Simone was the art director and still photographer on Daniela Repas’ feature film animation Pour the Water as I Leave, 2021 and Repas’ short film animation Dogs of Home, 2020. Additionally, Simone worked in the art department for Kelly Reichart’s upcoming film Showing Up, 2021 and as a set decorator for independent feature film How to be Human, 2021. Simone is the owner and operator of Salvation Gardens, a food garden she runs with her family.

Laurel V. McLaughlin (she/her/hers) is a writer, curator, art historian, and educator from Philadelphia based in Portland, OR (on the unceded lands of Bands of Chinook and Clackamas, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Molalla, Multnomah, Tualatin Kalapuya, and Wasco peoples). McLaughlin holds MAs from The Courtauld Institute of Art and Bryn Mawr College, and is currently a History of Art Ph.D. Candidate at Bryn Mawr, writing a dissertation concerning performative migratory aesthetics. Her research has been supported by a 2020–2021 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art and a 2021–2022 Bryn Mawr College Dean’s Fellowship. She has presented her research at conferences ranging from the College Art Association, New York; the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, Hong Kong; to Performance Studies International, Calgary; and Universities Art Association of Canada. Her criticism, interviews, and essays have been published in Art Papers, Art Practical, Performa Magazine, Contact Quarterly, Performance Research, PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research, and Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, among others; and she will publish a co-edited volume on the work of Tania El Khoury in August 2022 with Amherst College/Lever Press. She has organized exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the Arthur Ross Gallery and the ICA Philadelphia, Vox Populi, the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, Paragon Arts Gallery, and the Lafayette College Galleries. Currently, she is organizing The Longest Leg, a solo exhibition and programming series showcasing the work of Emmanuela Soria Ruiz at Fuller Rosen Gallery; OFFAL, a solo exhibition featuring the work of Simone Fischer at Astoria Visual Arts; the traveling survey Emilio Rojas: tracing a wound through my body; and forthcoming spring 2022 exhibitions at Artspace, New Haven.

Simone Fischer, Rearview exit, 2019. Fabricated brushed steel door, construction wire, composite image on chiffon, 80 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Alt Text: An image of a hanging steel door with chiffon cloth behind it featuring advertising signs.

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