Clarissa Tossin is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, California. Using installation, video, performance, sculpture, and photography, she investigates material cultural production and the ways in which they simultaneously represent the hybridization of global cultures and the persistence of difference. For instance, her recent project on Ford’s rubber plantation villages in the Amazon forest was triggered by the odd fact that the architecture of the workers’ houses was modeled after New England cottages.
As a Radclifffe fellow, Tossin is working toward the installation Meeting of Waters, which investigates the manufacturing of mass-produced goods in the Free Trade Zone of Manaus in the Amazon forest and the traditional ways of making practiced by the indigenous communities in the region. With this project, the artist is furthering her interest in material culture production ecosystems and how they engage the body of the maker, the surrounding environment, and the use and value attributed to the production.
Tossin is currently working on a commission from the City of Los Angeles for the Getty Foundation’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/Latin America (fall 2017). Her work has been exhibited at, among others, Blaffer Art Museum, in Houston; the Hammer Museum, in Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Museum of Latin American Art, in Long Beach; the Queens Museum, in New York; SITE Santa Fe; the Wattis Institute, in San Francisco; and Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.