Ali Shrago-Spechler
Medium: Mixed Media

Studio Location:
394 McGuiness Blvd, 301B - Studio# 301B



Artist Bio:
Ali Shrago-Spechler is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and educator from Hollywood, Florida and
the recipient of this year's Naomi Anolic Emergent Artist Award. In 2014, she founded A Whole New Megillah,
an annual Purim party series that incorporates her paintings, interactive sculptures and musical
collaborations into an adapted Megillah reading performance and was featured in Time Out New York
Magazine. She has works as a prop and set designer with Meta-Physed- a Jewish experimental theatre
company that creates original works exploring the relationship between spirituality and politics--
including on their production, "Jew vs Malta" at La MaMa Theater in New York City.

Ali received her BFA in Painting and Art History from Pratt Institute and her MFA in Fine Arts from the
School of Visual Arts in 2016. She has taught lectures, workshops, classes, and camps at various
institutions in South Florida and NYC, including the Brooklyn Children's Museum, Children's Museum
of the Arts, Brooklyn Museum, The New Shul, and Young At Art Museum, and is currently the Arts
Teacher at Williamsburg Montessori School.

She has exhibited her work throughout Florida and New York including The Hole, The Front Room,
Hadas Gallery, La Mama, The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Purvis Young studio in Overtown, and
Young At Art Museum. Ali lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Artist Statement:
"Like war, the history of Les Lieux De Memoire is an art of implementation, practiced in the fragile happiness derived from relating to the rehabilitated objects and from the involvement of the historian in his or her subject. It is a history that rests upon what it mobilizes: an impalpable, barely expressible, self-imposed bond, what remains of our ineradicable, carnal attachment to these faded symbols."
- Pierre Nora, Les Lieux de Memoire (The Sites of Memory)

With a humorous, sentimental, and sensory approach, my installations and performative actions address the malleability of history and the invention of tradition. I make videos, paintings, sculptural objects, and interactive events to create a fun, familiar, and strange space for my audience. My hybrid actions force viewers to question their own narratives, self-imposed alienation, and the source and effect of memory. By occupying established traditions and national symbols filtered through a secular, female Jewish-American lens, my multidisciplinary works merge fact and fiction into a new narrative that maintains cultural cues while revealing and celebrating the absurd. Signifiers from popular culture are combined with Jewish iconography and ritual, reflecting a bizarre integration of social practices. I recontextualize these symbols to explore stereotypes, revealing the structures that root us in our language and lifestyles.

All images and text copyright Ali Shrago-Spechler