In her installations Erica Bailey exploits the visual and imaginative experience of diorama, often alongside the physical experience of an existing or custom-built space. The dioramas represent vernacular architecture and are often paired with video, sound, or still images that suggest, and even expand, the environs of each. Through the use of diorama, she positions, side-by-side, spaces that are disparate in terms of time and location, grouping them to articulate interrelationships. Unfurnished, they are pure instances of space, uncluttered by the quotidian and suggestive of the transitory nature of life. They subvert expectations; their time, location, and sometimes even their spatial orientation is confused, fluid. They explore the strangeness of experience and its inescapable entanglement with time and space.
A Bronx-based artist, originally from a small-town, working-class family in Ohio, she earned her BFA from The Ohio State University (2003) and her MFA from the University of Cincinnati (2007). She has created several large-scale installations at Ohio institutions, including The House that was Haunted Before It was Built (2007) at the Aronoff Center for Art and Design, University of Cincinnati, and Telescoping House (2010-2013) for the UnMuseum of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. She moved to New York in 2012 after accepting a position with The City College of New York, where she now teaches one class each semester in addition to the managing the sculpture area’s wood and metal shops. Recent exhibitions of note include Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial (2015) at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Its memory, the memory of its ribs, its knees, its shoulders (2015), a solo exhibition at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn.