At the center of Nicola L.'s far-ranging art is the human body and its power to reform notions of individuality and collectivity, constraint and freedom.

*Photo above: Nicola L, Blue Cape of the Evolution, 2002, Cuba. Image courtesy the artist.

Dec. 16, 2014 - March 10, 2015

With a lively spirit of collectivity drawing together over forty years of her art, Nicola L. has produced an unruly and eclectic body of work including design objects for living, paintings and collages informed by Surrealism, to sculptural works in dialogue with Brazilian Neoconcretist wearables, and public performance actions. At the center of her far-ranging practice is the human body and its power to reform notions of individuality and collectivity, constraint and freedom.

Exquisite Corpus focuses on Nicola L.'s object-mediated performance art. In particular, the exhibit highlights her Blue Cape, a costume for twelve people worn in culturally iconic global settings through a series of nomadic and impromptu public interventions. Performance sites include the Parliament in Brussels—seat of the European Union—the Great Wall of China, a historic square in Havana, Cuba, the Saint Sulpice Cathedral in Paris, and other locations of historical and political significance. The continuous wearable sculpture requires the group of people inhabiting it to move together. Poetic, uncanny and agitprop, the Blue Cape inaugurates an uncommon image of a collective body, of community and cohesion.

A performance of the Blue Cape will once again activate this work on December 16th at SECCA for the opening of Exquisite Corpus. We have invited women leaders and community members from across the city to wear the Blue Cape.

Exquisite Corpus begins the story of Nicola L.'s corporeal and feminist art by placing her performance art within the context of earlier Surrealist-inspired sculptural objects called Penetrables, which break away from the wall and suggest art's power to move beyond the museum walls into the throes of global culture.

Nicola L. offers a daring image of collectivity in a time when artists and creative communities seek to reform how we come together and what we can accomplish together.

Exquisite Corpus accompanies and inspires the multi-generational group exhibit, COLLECTIVE ACTIONS in the neighboring Main Gallery. We invite your participation to co-create artworks in the space with contemporary artists.

Curated by Cora Fisher, SECCA Curator of Contemporary Art.