© 2021 Caitlin Rueter


Rueter’s work is built on the layering and assemblage of materials, in service of, or in dialogue with a specific historical narrative. This project distills what is essential about her work and process. She catalogues a repertoire of formal moves—collection, deconstruction, assemblage, fragmentation, the superimposition and embedding of bodies and objects into images—and uses them to fuse rather than layer concepts and materials.

The materials used here are reclaimed clothing and textiles taken from the artist’s wardrobe. Each object has a history, well-worn and passed from one custodian to another. After creating detail photographs of each of the objects, Rueter physically and digitally manipulates the design of the patterns to create new ones.

Each artefact and each pattern used here has a history within itself and a history within the context of her work. Pairing them back, reducing them, Rueter has selected just two patterns for each piece. She then join those patterns, the pairing of the elements giving each a context. That context is not determined by an external narrative, but is internal to the work— a result of the tension between the two plates and the potential energy created by their friction. Each element of each piece is also given a subtext through a gentle reworking of familiar patterns and rhythms to suggest an ongoing narrative, even in the face of the abrupt visual stoppage inherent in the collision with its opposite.