Rachel Mica Weiss currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY as a resident of the Chashama Studio Program. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College in 2008 and her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012. She is the recipient of The San Francisco Foundation Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts awarded to Bay Area graduate students of exceptional promise and she has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and at Village des Arts in Dakar, Senegal. She has exhibited her work internationally and nationally at venues such as SOMArts Cultural Center, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Fiber Philadelphia Biennial.
I construct these sculptures and installations by embedding reclaimed architectural materials—such as wood and granite—with rope, net, and cloth. At times harmoniously and violently, I fuse the exterior trappings of the domicile with the softer textures of its interior. Using these materials, which hide and to house, I create spaces that restrict viewers’ movement and objects that are paralyzed or devoid of agency. Anchored in textile traditions, the repetitious processes of weaving, knotting and binding emphasize the laborious act of each work’s fabrication. In the processes of hand-dyeing and weaving the yarns I use or by hand-cranking rope from mop cotton, I intentionally insert imperfections or deliberately disturb processes that are otherwise rhythmic and regular to emphasize the obsessive nature of such labor. By using color removal techniques or intentionally resisting fibers, I strive to lace my works with an anthropological aesthetic of decay and abandon. These works begin in the structures that house us—our architectural walls, the sheaths of our clothing. My aim is that they bring into focus the self-imposed boundaries we labor over daily.