Fuller Rosen Gallery
1928 NW Lovejoy Street
Portland, OR 97209


The Longest Leg
Emmanuela Soria Ruiz

November 11, 2021 - January 09, 2022

︎︎︎ Programming list for The Longest Leg by Emmanuela Soria Ruiz

Photograph of a green metal desk underneath which a monitor is playing a video of a hand raising and lowering the hem of a skirt up and down a leg.
Emmanuela Soria Ruiz, The Mule, video installation with steel armature and metal desk, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.

(Portland, OR) Fuller Rosen Gallery and guest curator Laurel V. McLaughlin are pleased to present The Longest Leg, a solo exhibition of new and recent work by Emmanuela Soria Ruiz on view November 11, 2021 - January 09, 2022. Join us for an in-person opening reception on Saturday, November 13 from 6-8 pm. Schedule a viewing appointment or visit during open gallery hours.

Content warning: this exhibition includes references to sexual assault, animal cruelty, abuse, sexism, and misogyny.

A man is walking in the fields with his mule and his dog. The mule, carrying too heavy a load stops, digging her knees into the ground and collapses. The man, getting angry and impatient, starts hitting the poor animal with a stick, until the mule has had enough and says: “Antonio, this is how you treat me after all these years of faithful service in which I have never faltered?” The man, terrified, starts to run with his dog alongside him. They don’t stop until a few miles away, where they stop to catch their breath under a tree. “Holy shit!!!!” says the dog “What a scare the Mule has given us, when it started speaking!!!”

Does trauma take a singular point of view, like a monologue? Or does it stretch beyond the silo of the psyche, skulking into narrative environments, social interactions, and even conceptions of a fragmented selfhood? Emmanuela Soria Ruiz’s videos, sculptures, installations, and drawings in her solo exhibition The Longest Leg subvert power dynamics implicit within the act of looking. Drawing upon narrative literary structures, Greek and Roman mythologies, and strategies of visual displacement, Soria Ruiz destabilizes the singularity of abuse and trauma through constellations of images, embodiments, and objects.

Works invite viewers to lift a skirt to watch a video, to stoop down to catch a glimpse of subtitles, or to track the looping (non)revelation of “the longest leg” beneath a kilt. Consequently, viewers are both implicated in their speculations, and simultaneously thwarted by the works’ resistances to gratifying disclosure. In these uncomfortable positions, Soria Ruiz “forc[es] viewers to perform the sometimes violent gestures necessary to look at the work, [as her] sculptural language aim[s] at making explicit the double condition of spectatorship as both voyeur and object.” In the ongoing aftermaths of the #MeToo movement, institutional reckonings with sexual and physical harassment, and emergent trauma-informed modes of care, Soria Ruiz’s works operate as testimonies, warnings, and call-outs, urging viewers to reckon with their inevitable entanglements within patriarchal culture.

The Longest Leg is organized by independent curator Laurel V. McLaughlin in collaboration with Fuller Rosen Gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of free public programs in partnership with performer Allie Hankins, FLOCK Dance Center, Oregon Contemporary, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies and Hallie Ford Graduate School of Willamette University.

This programming is generously supported in part by a 2021 Regional Arts & Culture Council Make|Learn|Build Grant. The performance program Private Speculations is further financially made possible with the support of a 2021 PICE Mobility Grant of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).

Emmanuela Soria Ruiz (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and educator based in Philadelphia. Through both research-based and intuitive methodologies, her work investigates hegemonies embedded in personal histories, mythology, literature, and the history of architecture. Originally from Spain, she moved to New York where she attended The Cooper Union for her BFA. In 2020 she obtained her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been supported by a Sachs Innovation Grant for the project “Stages of Learning,” co-led with artist Emilio Martinez Poppe. Additionally, she has participated in residencies at The American Academy in Rome, The Performance Intensive in Philadelphia, The Cervantes Institute in Marrakech, Arts Letters and Numbers in Albany, and ACRE projects and has been awarded travel fellowships by the Menschel Fellowship at the Cooper Union and the Manuel Rivera foundation in Granada, Spain. Soria Ruiz’s work has been exhibited at multiple venues in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Berlin, Marrakech, and Granada.

Allie Hankins (she/her) is a Portland-based dancer, performer and performance maker. Her current collaborators include Physical Education (Lu Yim, keyon gaskin, and Taka Yamamoto), Linda Austin, and Rachael Dichter (SF). Most recently, Hankins has danced for Milka Djordjevich (LA), and Morgan Thorson (Minneapolis). She has been an Artist in Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Caldera, the Wassaic Project, and Ucross. She's currently reading Zany, Cute, Interesting by Sianne Ngai, Calamities by Renee Gladman, all the Ali Smith she can get her hands on, and she is eagerly awaiting her turn on the library's waitlist for In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. She loves book recommendations.

Photo courtesy Sam Gehrke © 2021
Laurel V. McLaughlin (she/her) is a writer, curator, art historian, and educator from Philadelphia based in Portland, OR (on the unceded lands of Bands of Chinook and Clackamas, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Molalla, Multnomah, Tualatin Kalapuya, and Wasco peoples). McLaughlin holds MAs from The Courtauld Institute of Art and Bryn Mawr College, and is currently a History of Art Ph.D. Candidate at Bryn Mawr, writing a dissertation concerning performative migratory aesthetics. Her research has been supported by a 2020–2021 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art and a 2021–2022 Bryn Mawr College Dean’s Fellowship. She has presented her research at the Berkeley Film & Media Studies Graduate Conference; the College Art Association annual conference, New York; the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present annual conference, Hong Kong; and the Performance Studies International, Calgary annual conference. Her criticism, interviews, and essays have been published in Art Papers, Art Practical, Performa Magazine, Contact Quarterly, Performance Research, PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research, and Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, among others; and she will publish a co-edited volume on the work of Tania El Khoury in August 2022 with Amherst College/Lever Press. She has organized exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the Arthur Ross Gallery and the ICA Philadelphia, Vox Populi, the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, Paragon Arts Gallery, and the Lafayette College Galleries. Currently, she is organizing The Longest Leg, featuring the work of Emmanuela Soria Ruiz at Fuller Rosen Gallery, the traveling survey Emilio Rojas: tracing a wound through my body, and forthcoming spring exhibitions at Artspace, New Haven.