In the two hand-drawn animations on view by Nathania Rubin, a girl acts out her struggle with letting go in a farcical treatment of the psychoanalytic preoccupation with feces and a morphing face struggles to congeal an identity which it temporarily accomplishes during a sexual encounter before splintering into multiple extra-human incarnations.
For Rubin, the narrative of this animation is secondary to the drawn marks which determine the next steps of the moving image. It is improvised as a developing drawing with no script and only fragments of reference footage.
Rubin’s work is largely about role-playing. The bigger questions behind the work concern the nature of identity, the knowability of the other, the knowability of the self and what it means for the self and other to stand in relation to one another. Her animations depict unknown and unknowable characters that morph and shift both drastically and subtly. The formations and deformations of narratives coincide with those of the drawn marks of graphite and its erasure. The removal of marks plays as central a role to the development of the narrative as do the drawn interventions. Similarly, with respect to the relationship between form and content, the driving mechanism through the time-based aspect of the pieces is perhaps more within the working and the reworking of the drawing itself than the narrative development that the drawing articulates. Narrative in this way has awkward footing within the pieces that struggle to find their subject in terms of both character and content. The subject is what the laboriously rendered forms are searching for, but in the end the forms themselves and their struggle comprises the subject content of the work.
Nathania Rubin is an artist working primarily in hand-drawn animation and drawing/video installation. Her work investigates the relationships between narrative, fiction and the formation of self. She explores the shifting nature of identity through morphing drawings and their erasure. Originally from New York City, she spent 2011-12 as a fine art researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands and she is currently artist-in-residence at the ACC Galerie in Weimar, Germany.
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