Juliana Paciulli

Paciulli_HeadshotJuliana Paciulli was born in Manassas, Virginia and lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions include Uh-huh (2016) and Are You Talking to Me? (2013) at Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles, Sensors at Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles (2009) and The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Episode II at the Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles (2005). Her work has also been featured in numerous group exhibition throughout the United States including The Ghost of Architecture at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2013); Sharon Lockhart, Juliana Paciulli and Caecilia Tripp at Martos Gallery, New York (2009), and The Magical Mundane at the Bucket Rider Gallery, Chicago (2007). In 2009, Paciulli was selected by Rineke Dijkstra to attend the Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency and received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Residency Fellowship. She is currently a lecturer in the Art Department at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Artist’s Statement

Juliana Paciulli is a Los Angeles based artist who works with highly edited photographs, video and sculpture to explore pop cultural iconography and how it is circulated, absorbed and re-circulated. Her recent body of work, Uh-huh, is a group of large‐scale photographs that continue her investigation into these relationships with a specific emphasis on culturally charged objects and their role in female identity formation. Each image depicts a young woman’s hands performing humorously incongruous actions with mass‐produced props on a beige background. From a life-size inflatable dolphin covered in shaving cream to a conch shell lying perilously on toy railroad tracks, these props are chosen based on their cultural resonance, gender implications, and their formal and tactile qualities. The hand, like that of a spokesmodel, displays and activates these objects in a predominately blank space that references the seamless backgrounds of advertising photography. Through these deadpan gestures, she negotiates the meanings of the performer and her props while lightly parodying gendered consumption.

Shown along with these images is a sculptural installation consisting of a chrome coffee table sitting on an oversized yellow carpet. The glass from the tabletop is shattered, echoing the performative nature of the photographs. A fallen iPad rests on the table’s frame, looping a text-based video. In a style that resembles both television commercials and digital scrapbook culture, a series of individual words flash on the screen in different fonts. The oblique text – Let’s make a subculture of subpar excellence and totally commit to it – is, like the humorous interjections in the photographs, a call to action pregnant with possibility but is also puzzling in its declaration of mediocrity.