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Beneath Milhauser’s Floor reconstructs the 2nd floor ribbon room as an immersive environment populated by a mass of tubular creatures with bodies that are simultaneously phallus, breast, and limb. From the walls they reach feebly out to crutch-like supports that emerge from a dense tangle of ribbon, their fibrous entrails falling from wound-like openings in their sagging forms. A field of round ribbon disks mark the walls like healing scabs, like sites of amputation, like the leaf scars found on plants. Stephanie Williams’ imagining of this fantastic landscape echoes the resilience and fragility of the vital world, speaking to processes of growth, decay, and regeneration. The artist writes of her decision to work with the room, “As a maker, I am most drawn to the ribbon room because of the potential challenge the material provides. Compared to any other I’ve experienced here, the ribbon room is rhizomatic in its structure, entangled and fibrous. It holds a level of preciousness; the material cannot be cut or overtly altered, sustaining a direct historical connection to stories past. I find comfort in these limitations, challenging me to make up my own processes, incorporate failure, adjust and perform and invent my own system while learning a new material.”

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