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Untitled (Ghost Cube), 2015, Medical ephemera, resin, 4 x 4 x 4 inches. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist.

In Untitled (Ghost Cube), Rain Lucien Matheke captures and safeguards in resin what would normally decay and be discarded: tape, tubes, even blood—perhaps. Matheke often works with medical and bodily ephemera, finding ways to preserve and transform them. The cube, in this work, connects Untitled (Ghost Cube) to a larger art historical canon—minimalism—and therefore the body. However, the scale is too small and the form is too disturbed by the objects it seeks to contain. Untitled (Ghost Cube) materializes an experience of the ill body, one that is contained by—but always exceeds—medical intervention.

Rain Lucien Matheke is a gender fluid, Los Angeles based artist living with a primary immune deficiency disease (XLA), which requires monthly infusions of IVIG. Documentation of this process is a huge part of Rain’s practice. She received a Master’s Degree in Visual Art from California State University, Northridge in 2016 and has exhibited and performed throughout Southern California. Her work is interdisciplinary and is largely about decay and mortality. She seeks to give visibility to invisible illness. The destructive, contemplative, and repetitive processes used to make her work examine struggles between death and preservation as well as acceptance and control, in an effort to establish a sense of permanence in a decaying body. Illness comprises much of life. Rain’s practice embraces and celebrates the seemingly futile pursuit of the preservation of life and the fragility of the body.

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