Couroupita/Corpus addresses artificial displacements and haunted social and natural histories. In the center of the gallery, viewers encounter a narrow, perforated chamber encasing the upright form of a truncated rainforest tree. Inside, Rachelle Dang’s sculpted version of couroupita guianensis (cannonball tree) appears frozen in a peak state of abundance: long vine-like stems, blossoms, and rotund fruits envelop the trunk, yet these rigid forms resemble bones and evince an unexpected brittleness—gray, petrified, and still.
Dang considers transoceanic colonial histories and intertwined legacies of control over environments and populations. Through her work in sculpture and installation, she interprets the significance of historical source material and natural forms while emphasizing the shared vulnerabilities of environment, body, and matter.