Audrey Goldstein

Artist Statement:
The core philosophy and basis of my work is empathy. Through visual and participatory work, I focus on acts of generosity and their negation in our fraught environment that is both personal and political; external and internal. As a sculptor with a painting background, I create sculptural forms that cross material boundaries and emphasize moments of exchange. These transitions appear to be merging molecularly, collapsing, or maintaining integrity. The bleeding between materials simultaneously suggests growth and leakage. 
My current series, Intimate Toxicities, looks at the results of brutish behaviors that have led to climate and health crises. In this body of work, the landscape is internalized rather than observed. The topographies can be read as cell structures, land formations, and environments seeping directly into the body. While these works are not tied to a specific place and do not represent actual sites, the pigmentation is taken from satellite images of climate disasters.  For example, Intimate Toxicities, Mustard Sweater, uses imagery from Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, and California before the recent rains.
The beginning of my process was inspired by mandala visualization, a practice where one imaginatively builds an environment in expanding concentric rings. This allowed for the topographies to grow organically over time. Each work is organized in neighborhoods or regions so that the viewer can visually “walk” through the surfaces as one would transverse a landscape. The cardboard house structures are based on pandemic walks when houses were transformed from places of safety to places of loneliness and isolation. More broadly, the model houses stand as vulnerable objects and wreckage within the landscape.
Essay by Stace Brandt:

Intimate Toxicities
Audrey Goldstein’s Intimate Toxicities unfurls in collective multitudes, conveying change and exchange, growth and destruction, in overlapping textures and visual tempos. In moments, it’s as slow as moss creeping up a tree. In others, like a timelapse of cancer cells multiplying. Goldstein stitches together journeys through entwined topographies and fields of memory, continuously collapsing and reestablishing proportion and perspective. These are works to be explored and wandered, for damage to be surveyed. They are as much internal landscape as external narrative, a conflation of visible and invisible forces that tell a story of our current climate and battered geographies.
Amid and amongst various materials, Goldstein’s work traces the illusion of boundaries between land, language, and the body; invented to overcome the sensation of our inadequacies, our sensory shortcomings, to mediate our lack of control and articulate our triumphs and travels. Consider the impossibility of putting a finger on a feeling or sticking a pin in a map and then into the actual changing earth. Consider the way our words morph into meaning: how plot, in all its secrecy, can point to a portion of land, outline it, and then shift into a remembered sequence, a narrative arch; how passage can isolate a fragment of text, make it an island, and then open into a journey by sea, the migration of birds across a landscape.
To believe our constructions—our borders, houses, words, the meanings housed by our words—are not in constant flux, inexorable exchange with inner and outer worlds, would be a considerable oversight. The reality is that we cannot contain despite our attempts to define. Through material and conceptual spillage and slippage, Intimate Toxicities speaks to the convergences between nature and human nature, connections between land and memory, our bodies as vulnerable homes and our homes as vulnerable bodies.
Stace Brandt