Alter Gallery 176, First Floor
A striking voice in contemporary art, Rachel Rose creates video installations that ruminate on our image-saturated culture and histories of the past. She is the first recipient of the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media, which supports innovative new work in video, film, performance, and sound by emerging artists. For her commissioned video, Wil-o-Wisp, Rose trains her lens on a tumultuous moment in history: England in the late 1500s.
Wil-o-Wisp explores how the practice of magic and coincidence influence the fate of a woman named Elspeth Blake. Rose frames her story against the backdrop of England's Enclosure Movement, which privatized communal land and spurred violent upheavals in agrarian life.
Rose models the chapters of Elspeth's life after accounts of healers persecuted for their practices, which were considered deviant and threatening within increasingly regulated society. Weaving together the harsh realities of the rural English landscape with ghostly sprites and the ethereal forces of magic, Rose questions how our perceptions of the world, and of others, can so radically change within the fluctuating norms of society and the seismic shifts of history.
Learn more about the Future Fields Commission
In 2016 the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo established the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media as a collaborative initiative to jointly commission and acquire new work by artists who are active in video, film, performance, and sound. The commission supports the creation and production of a new work every two years that will be presented at both the museum and the Fondazione. With its unique focus and commitment to the joint acquisition of the works, the commission aims to give unprecedented opportunities to international artists who are exploring new territory in these experimental modes of contemporary art. Rachel Rose is the inaugural recipient of the Future Fields Commission. Her work Wil-o-Wisp will have its first international presentation at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy, in November 2018.
Get a sneak peek at works in this exhibition.
Rachel Rose (American, born 1986) has had solo exhibitions at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2017); the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2016); the Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2016); the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2015); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015). In 2015 she was the recipient of the Frieze Artist Award. Her work was included in the International Exhibition at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, and has been collected by prominent institutions such as LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art); the LUMA Foundation, Arles; the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris; the Ishikawa Foundation; the Tate, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
The exhibition has been made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Contemporary Art, Lyn M. Ross, Emily and Mike Cavanagh, Susan and James Meyer, and Mitchell L. and Hilarie L. Morgan.
Erica F. Battle, the John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Associate Curator of Contemporary Art