Alessandra Puglisi, MFA 2024

Thesis Exhibition: April 3-6 

Reception: April 5, 6-8 pm 


Untitled VI (top view), 2024, bread on wood table, 40” x 50”.

Untitled III, 2023, soap wax, pan, 12” x 22” x 6”. 


Artist Statement 

To become is an event. To become is to recognize yourself as changed. My semester in Rome was a belated return to the country I was raised in. I felt the push and pull of my mind as it grasped at a culture and at a language that I grew up with and rejected it as something lost and replaced by a new language, a new culture. A world that had raised me and that I had to make small to make room for a new one. To become is to acknowledge that time passed and that that time is finite, diminishing. How many different versions of ourselves do we have left? Bodies aren’t enough to house us, to house all that we could become. I wanted to make new bodies. Bodies made of plaster and beeswax, of lye soap and burnt plastic, of ancient flour and fine sand. New bodies birthed from materials that bore the mark of my childhood, of my old home, of my father. Be it with alchemy or ritual or superstition, I wanted to believe I could build permanent bodies for every version of us as though I could observe the event in slow motion and freeze it before the becoming became and the change took place. There is no such thing as alchemy, there are no magical combinations of materials that can change us, strengthen us, give us more time. There are no ancient prayers used that can build a vessel strong enough to hold what ails us, there is no such thing as permanence. We hold on to the moments we think are significant and we forget the rest, we chew and spit “one part honey, one part wax.” I could not build a new body, not for myself, nor for my father; instead I made reliquaries to honor each inevitable event as it came. 


All photos credited to the artist.