I still remember the taste of the bar of Dial soap between my teeth as my Mom counted to ten. Tears streaming down my face as she told me “ladies don’t talk like that.”
My work seeks to interrogate and overturn received notions of femininity. It seeks to puncture narratives of cultural toxicity and detonate conventions of the cult of domesticity and prescribed gender roles. Employing a visual vocabulary that is boldly colorful and deliberately ironic, I endeavor to create works that challenge feminist themes with humor and grace. My practice utilizes analog collage with tangible materials to capture the sensory experience of time, nostalgia, and memory. By recontextualizing artifacts associated with earlier generations of female practice and portrayal, such as sewing notions, cookbooks, the practice of scrapbooking or vintage pornography, I reclaim them for the purpose of empowerment. My hope is that my work confronts gender norms in a very personal way, shattering the experiences and expectations of being feminine in this culture.
That bar of soap did not silence me that day. In fact, it stands out in my mind as my earliest form of rebellion. It unleashed a woman to create her own language; one dainty as rose petals, violent as fireworks, cutting as a razor’s edge.
Emily Hoerdemann (b. 1985) is a California-based artist who explores language and color through collage, illustration, and photography. She received her BFA in painting and photography from Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois), and a Masters in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, New York). Her work is a play-on-words meets color study with a hint of the personal that skews toward nostalgia, drawing on her obsession with organization. As a result, each work is a delicate placing of aesthetics and color. Emily’s works are in numerous private collections, and have been exhibited in New York, Chicago, London, and Los Angeles.
[click to email]