Tuesday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Opening September 14
This exhibition explores the complex legacies of sexual violence that saturate the Western canon. The title, drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, references the moment when the nymph Daphne, fleeing the unwanted advances of Apollo, pleads to have her beauty taken from her. She is turned into a laurel tree, saving her from assault, but permanently immobilizing her. Her beauty, the poet tells us, remains. The idea that beauty is a liability which puts its bearers at risk of assault is common in the classical world, and still has an impact today.
The works comprising this exhibition ask the viewer to re-examine scenes from the classics and art history. Collectively the works invite someone on the outside to inhabit the body in the frame: in A Poem and a Mistake (written by Cheri Magid, created with and performed by Sarah Baskin) a graduate student has a difficult conversation with a Classics professor, during which he describes one of Ovid’s scenes of abduction as ‘love’. This encounter triggers a series of transformations in which the professor metamorphoses into the victims throughout Ovid’s epic.
Kim Hoeckele’s photomontages bring together countless scenes from art history alongside pop culture and images of the artist herself, replicating and creating a typology of the gestural language of bodies gendered female within these frameworks. Reflecting on what it means to see oneself in the objectified bodies saturating art history and visual culture, the works collectively ask is this what love, and being loved, looks like? What does the idea of beauty – a privilege and a liability – do in these contexts? What does it do to see these stories represented again and again, and how can we complicate them?
Alongside these photographic works, there will be a spatialization of Shanta Lee Gardner’s poem ‘Flight From Pygmalion's Pedestal’ drawn from her recent book Black Metamorphosis, in which she reconfigures the pedestal upon which the artist sculpted his ideal beauty as a slave auction block. In Gardner’s reimagining of the tale, in becoming flesh, the sculpted form springs into life and makes her escape from the scene of subjection.
Opening November 1
Woman Wearing Ring Shields Face From Flash
Odette England collects found photographs showing men taking pictures of women without permission, women rejecting the camera by placing their hands over their faces, men posing with guns, and hands. For England, these images suggest a complex relationship between guns, cameras, and violence against women, and, as she points out, both Susan Sontag and Teju Cole have written of the shared vocabulary between guns and cameras that load, aim, and shoot. In making these connections, England hopes to surface the problematic visual habits embedded in our culture and to work towards an alternative way of using the camera to share our voices rather than normalize violence.
Sep 14, 6pm - Opening of And All That Remained Was Her Beauty
Oct 12, 6pm - Artist roundtable · And All That Remained Was Her Beauty - register
Nov 29, 3.30pm - Artist's talk · Odette England, Woman Wearing Ring Shields Face From Flash - register
3rd Weds of the month: CAG Community Reading Group - email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information