How To Be, solo exhibition by Caitlin Rueter
How To Be is a series of exercises that revisit and reimagine early 19th century primers for “young ladies.”
These books, serials and pamphlets include subjects ranging from etiquette and fashion to archery and riding, from botany, entomology and mineralogy to painting, dancing and embroidery. Each was meant to help a young woman navigate society and to keep her occupied, to battle the boredom that could lead to rebellion or other transgressions.
I methodically select and execute lessons from the primers, consider them in their historical context, then reconsider and reconceive them in the context of my own history. In my upcoming exhibition at O’Born Contemporary, I will show works from three exercises as the first installment of How To Be. These exercises, Lesson I: Ablutions, Lesson II: Moral Deportment, and Lesson III: The Cabinet Council, introduce central themes of the project.
- Caitlin Rueter, 2012
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Caitlin Rueter was born in Toronto, Canada. She received her BA from McGill University and studied at Ontario College of Art & Design before moving to the United States in 2002. There, she received a BFA from Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and, in 2009, her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design.
“Each project begins as an exercise in learning a new history. Coming to the United States as an adult, I am free to learn its history less conventionally than the way I learned Canadian history as a schoolgirl. Chasing the anecdotal and sometimes the apocryphal, I am as much interested in the way that I gather the information as I am in the information gathered.”
Caitlin Rueter’s work is exhibited internationally. She lives and works in New York City.