My work is based in sculpture and interactive engagement. I use video, photography, a wide range of drawing methods, and installation techniques to examine the contrast between the ritualistic and mundane, the performative and the genuine, and ask questions about how we, in our bodies, practices, and institutions, locate ourselves in these spaces. Each project wrestles with issues of functionality and narrative, relying on our inherent understanding of household objects, clothing, and tools. My research around each narrative initially guides the project’s structure. For the last ten years, I’ve been interested in sites that go beyond the physical characteristics of a space or architecture. I attempt to engage with the historical, political, and social stories embedded in each place. For example, I have drawn upon narratives from classical literature, American comic books and films, fairytales, and documentation of Victorian séances. However, I do not consider myself to be a storyteller. Instead, after first using these found narratives to create shared understanding in my work, I then subvert this initial sense of familiarity, leaving the viewer suspended in an in-between space that highlights the roles and characters we all play in everyday life.
Ligia Bouton was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spent her childhood in London, England. She received her education at Vassar College and at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Recent projects have been shown at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Guildhall Art Gallery in London, Minneapolis Institute of Art, SITE Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Bellevue Arts Museum, the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2016, Bouton’s work was featured in the exhibition, “Charlotte Great and Small,” celebrating the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire, England. Bouton’s video work has been shown at Art Claims Impulse in Berlin, in the Biennial of Contemporary Art, Nimes, France, and at the Temporary Art Center, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, as well as in The Female Avant Garde Festival in Prague. Reviews of this work have appeared in Art in America, Art Papers, The Art Newspaper, Art Ltd., and The New York Times. Most recently Bouton the recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital grant and a 2020 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship for her project “A Time Capsule in Glass” at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Bouton’s works can be found in the permanent collections of several institutions around the country including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Albuquerque Museum, and the Falconer Gallery at Grinnell College.