Rebecca Lieb

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What Is My Work About?

I seek derelict, disembodied, parasitic states of queer androgyny, desire, and aggression as sources of inspiration and as qualities I produce in my work.For instance, in ?Purloined Letter,? I wrote a poem using 69% words flagged by the NSA for increased surveillance and set it as my email signature. The aggression in this act is that not only my own email account, but the email account of anyone who receives an email containing the signature, becomes subject to increased surveillance. When I refer to John Hancock in the lines of the poem (?do you know what they say about men with bigger signatures??), it is because he is an emblem of the signatory, and clearly gendered as male. By asserting my bigger signature, I’m queering John Hancock.


Artist Statement

Did you know that the actress who plays Rachel the replicant in “Blade Runner” is the same actress who plays Lois Einhorn in “Ace Ventura Pet Detective?”

Sean Young’s androgynous body is harnessed by mainstream Hollywood as a site of verification. In “Blade Runner,” Young’s androgyny fits perfectly with her role as a quasi-human replicant. In “Ace Ventura Pet Detective,” the ambiguity of her gender is the linchpin of the entire mystery around which the movie’s plot is built.

In one of the most iconic scenes in “Blade Runner,” Harrison Ford zooms into a photograph found in the hotel room where a replicant was known to have been staying. The photograph’s composition is based off of Jan Van Eyck’s “Arnolfini Wedding Portrait,” and the convex mirror on the wall in the back of the hotel room contains a barely perceptible reflection of a woman sleeping. Ford’s character previously didn’t know of that replicant’s existence—he discovers that body through repeatedly zooming into the scan of that photograph.

Both “Rachel” and “The Purloined Letter” employ a similar erotics of surveillance. In both the text behind the paintings and the images depicted in the paintings in “Rachel,” there is a disconnect between search and result. The images I painted are from a collection of photographs that I save from searching eBay for unintentional crotch shots. Since the crotch shots weren’t an attribute of what was being sold in the eBay listing, I had to cull hundreds of eBay listings for silver plated vessels in order to find what I was looking for: photographs that not only revealed the seller’s environment, but also a crotch shot of the seller. The vinyl text installed behind the paintings is from a Craigslist post for a single apartment listing in New York. The color of the text and the background of the listing was white, a low-fi way of hiding text from people who patrol against website abuses. The text was hidden to a human eye, but it was placed into the listing for the eye of the Craigslist search engine.

Both the Craigslist and eBay listings are attempting to draw in potential buyers/renters, and there is a disconnect between desire and its fulfillment in what is being sold. Much of my recent work has emerged from the disembodiment and feeling of untimeliness that come from such disconnects between search and result.


Dried Dream

A mud-ruined, un-Zen R.E.M.

A veined den maze in mind I dreamed.

In dream I did demand men deride me,

ride me

(men I render in varied read).

In dream a man made me die near Dad.

Indeed I dreamed I

red-drained vein and

urine-drained udder in

nude drained dead

a dried mind in a dream undue.



California Institute of the Arts, MFA in Art, 2014.

Yale, BA, 2010.


Solo Exhibitions:

“French Ivory Irish Spring Chilean Sea Bass,” D301, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, 2014.

“mma,” A402, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, 2013.


Group Exhibitions:

“tl;dr,” curated by Michael Ned Holte, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014.

“Aftertaste” (curatorial project), Grand Central Market, Los Angeles, CA, 2014.

“The Poet in New York” (performance), Bowery Poetry Club, New York, NY, 2014.

“neverhitsend,” 356 Mission, Los Angeles, CA, 2013.

“Out of the palm of our hand” (curatorial project), The Drake Towers, Chicago, IL, 2013.

“Absorption/Distraction,” Gayle and Ed Roski MFA Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 2013.

“Mulholland Dérive” (performance), Hollywood Bowl Overlook, Los Angeles, CA 2012.

“Bowwow” (performance), Bowery Poetry Club, New York, NY, Dec 2010, May 2011, Jan 2012.

“Mostly Oral” (performance), Primetime Gallery, New York, NY, 2011.

“14 & 15,” Philip Johnson’s Lipstick Building, New York, NY, 2011.

“Joy King (Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition),” Green Hall, New Haven, CT, 2010.

“A Slow Evening with The Slow School” (performance), Robert Goff Gallery, New York, NY, 2010.



Pearce, Lance. “Reading Habits and Practices,” EyeContact, 24 Oct 2014.

Berardini, Andrew. “Sunstroked and Rigorous: Some Notes on CalArts,” Art and Education, June 2014. Web.

Eler, Alicia. “Living in a Post-Private World,” Hyperallergic, 20 March 2014. Web.

Parker, Allyson. “neverhitsend: A Conversation with LA Based Arts & Technology Collective,” Artslant, 8 Feb 2014. Web.

Quinlan, Adriane. “The Cubicle Is a Canvas at a Midtown Art Show,” The New York Times City Room Blog, 15 July 2011. Web.

Colucci, Emily. “Office Space: The Conceptual Art Show?” Hyperallergic, 15 Aug 2011. Web.

Vogel, Wendy. “14 & 15 At The Lipstick Building,” Flash Art International, Nov/Dec 2011. Web.


Awards and Residencies:

Vermont Studio Center resident, March 2012.

Sudler Fellowship, 2010.

Relevant Employment:

May 2014-present: Clocktower Radio / Clocktower Productions. Los Angeles Correspondent  for non-profit Internet radio station.

Sept 2010-Sept 2012: Clocktower Radio / Clocktower Productions. Writer and Research Assistant for radio and gallery space.  Assisted the director with research for radio interviews and catalogue essays in Passages: “Travels in Hyperspace” (Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary), and “Federico Diaz: Geometric Death Frequency” (Mass MoCA).  Writer for the radio’s and gallery’s website.

Nov 2011-July 2012: Studio Assistant for Elka Krajewska (founder of Salvage Art Institute).