Cate Giordano
After the fire is gone
September 15 – October 22, 2017
Opening Friday September 15, 6-9pm

After the fire is gone
Still from “After the fire is gone”, 2017, digital video, 33 minutes – Image courtesy of the artist

Artist CV
Installation Views

I shoot films, make sculptures, and perform in various states of cross dress. My work conveys a grotesque Americana, one influenced by faded icons, soap-opera folklore, and daily banalities.
– Cate Giordano


Microscope is very pleased to present the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Cate Giordano, After the fire is gone, as the culmination of a three-year long project in moving image, sculpture and installation based on the life of Dolly Presley, a persona created and performed by the artist.

The exhibition is an installation centering around a just completed 33-minute single-channel video of the same title in which a New York City diner waitress –  in a Dolly Parton wig and makeup and Elvis Presley mutton chops and jumpsuit who is prone to breaking into songs – finds herself in a love triangle, forced to choose between her insurance salesman husband Anton and her true love Clayton, a silent drifter who has suddenly resurfaced. The latter two are also performed by Giordano.

The video plays across more than a dozen vintage TV’s each featuring a separate and looping scene from the work. Sets from the movie are reinstalled throughout the space, dense with detailed objects and sculptures – made from wood, plaster, wax, papier-mâché and other materials – that appear in or expand upon the scenes and other elements of the piece.

Through the use of narrative filmmaking tropes and low-fi aesthetics – the video was shot on VHS and MiniDV – Giordano draws attention to the artifice and limitations of the representations of love/desire offered by the media that inform our experiences and at times our life-changing decisions. The coarsely constructed sculptures of people, objects, and places heightens the sense of isolation that surrounds Dolly despite the familiar story line.

The artist says of the protagonist: “Like a true Southern Belle, she’s trained herself to hide her feelings, singing her heart out only in her dreamscapes to songs such as Here You Come Again and Just Someone I Used to Know. […] Dolly Presley is trapped in the self-contained hell of Americana, unable to escape the constructs of her fabricated reality, and ultimately is victim to a circular narrative that she isn’t aware she controls.”

Cate Giordano works primarily in moving image, often playing multiple roles in her videos, and sculpture in the form of sets or characters made in a way that highlights their otherness and materiality. Her work has previously exhibited at Spring/Break Art Show, New York; James Farley Post Office, New York; Old School in collaboration with the New Museum, New York; and Parlour Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY among others. Solo screenings have been presented at Film Society at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA and Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn, NY. Group screenings include Flaherty Seminar at Anthology Film Archives, New York and Millennium Film Workshop, Brooklyn, NY among others. Her work has been discussed in ArtforumArtnetARTnewsArtObserved, HyperallergicSan Francisco Art Quarterly, and others. She received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 2008 and was a Smack Mellon’s Artist Studio Program recipient in 2016-17. Originally from Pensacola, FL, Cate Giordano lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

After the fire is gone opens on Friday September 15th, 6-9pm, and runs through October 22nd, 2017. Gallery hours: Thursday to Monday, 1-6pm.

For inquiries or high-resolution images please contact the gallery at 347.925.1433 or by email at

Cate Giordano_Heavy Food
Cate Giordano, “Heavy Food”, 2015, wood, plasticine, cardboard, plaster, paint, wire, 15 x 20 ft.
– Image courtesy of the artist

Cate Giordano_Man in a chair
Cate Giordano, “Clayton”, 2017, wood, plaster, paper mache, foam, cardboard, plaster, paint, 12 x 12 ft. (detail) – Image courtesy of the artist

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