Rachel Frank’s Thresholds takes its name from her featured video, made while in residence at MOCA Tucson and filmed within the fragmented current habitats of the Sonoran Pronghorn in Arizona. The video considers the establishment of wildlife corridors, passageways that allow for the movement of animal species between habitats separated by manmade development. Frank uses the wildlife corridor as a synecdoche for issues impacting the ecosystems of the southern Arizona Sonoran Desert’s borderlands: wildlife fragmentation; migration; borders; climate change; droughts; and the changing uses of the desert.
Alongside and in conversation with this work are a series of ceramic and fabric works—a fabric-based Sonoran Pronghorn and Crested Caracara—both indigenous borderland species—are juxtaposed with cholla chain fruit and saguaro cactus, ceramic sculptures slice in half and divided by clear panes of Plexiglas.
In a separate but related ecosystem, ceramic sculptures based on ancient Eurasian offering vessels imagine how old forms may play roles in new ceremonies. A series of rhyton vessels—animal shaped pitchers—form a hydroponic grow system for edible plants, designed as a response to the increasing droughts within desert regions. The kernos, a circular-shaped vessel with individual offering cup, and the lekythos, a narrow vessel associated with funeral rites and loss, have been recast as offering vessels for indicator species—plants and animals that can provide early signals of environmental or climatic changes within an ecosystem.
Rachel Frank lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA from The University of Pennsylvania. Frank is the recipient of grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, and The Franklin Furnace Archive. She has attended residencies at Yaddo, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, The Museum of Arts and Design, Sculpture Space, The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and most recently at MOCA Tucson. Recent solo exhibitions include the SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Thomas Hunter Projects at Hunter College and at Standard Space in Sharon, CT. Most recently, her work was shown in “The Sentinels,” a two-person exhibition with Heidi Lau at Geary Contemporary. Her performance pieces have been shown at HERE, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Select Fair, and The Bushwick Starr in New York City, The Marran Theater at Lesley University, and most recently at The Watermill Center in collaboration with Robert Wilson.
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