Rosa Aiello   The Coquette, The Prude

December 8, 2018 - February 17, 2019

The Coquette, The Prude is Rosa Aiello’s solo exhibition based on two of the seventeen stories from Patricia Highsmith’s Little Tales of Misogyny. The exhibition consists of a video (The Coquette), a series of photographic works (The Prude) and a sound installation of a train that periodically runs through both the narrative of the video and the gallery space.

She focuses on these two stereotypes of femininity and the interplay between them; they are narratives that describe behaviours and ascribe blunt labels, however tongue in cheek, however brutal. At play are questions of language (naming, categorization) and the power dynamics of gender relations. The Coquette and The Prude are not about particular exemplary characters; rather, they belie the social forces, material conditions, and models of learning that produce the impulse to type. Aiello’s treatment of formal and narrative relationships tests responses to interruption and repetition: what happens when she says “no,” says “no” again, says nothing, leaves the juicy part out, and denies our desire to watch while the crime takes place?

Rosa Aiello is an artist andwriter based between Hamilton, Ontario and Berlin, Germany. Her practice takes many forms, most often fiction, word games, CG animation, live action, and sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include Builder and Demon, Éclair, Berlin; Fate Presto, Muséo Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno; 27 seasons, Galleria Federico Vavassori, Milano; The Demagog, Bureau des Réalités, Brussels. Her writing has been published in various publications including Triple Canopy, Art Papers,Canadian Art, and F. R. David.

Her video works are part of the public collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and of the Centre George Pompidou (Paris). She has an upcoming exhibition at Cell Project Space in London with Patricia L Boyd.

This exhibition was made possible with funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the City of Lethbridge, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

Rosa Aiello, The Coquette, The Prude (production still), 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.

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