image: Pinar Yolaçan, Boro, 2009
Organized by Clarity Haynes
Opening Reception: Friday, September 25, 7-9pm
On View: September 25 - October 31
Art Talk with Clarity Haynes: Tuesday, October 13, 6:30pm
A map of the world that does not include utopia is not worth glancing at. – Oscar Wilde BODY UTOPIA creates a visionary space that honors ideas and representations of the nonconforming body – a body that does not subscribe to cultural ideals, whether through size, age, disability, ethnicity, gender presentation, or “queer”, self-chosen, outlier identity. The exhibition features photography by Chitra Ganesh and Pinar Yolaçan; sculpture by Constantina Zavitsanos; painting and drawing by Clarity Haynes and Riva Lehrer; and video by Sondra Perry. BODY UTOPIA embodies an inclusive feminist point of view and invites questions, such as: what does it mean to represent a disabled body? A survivor’s body? What is discovered through the exploration of seemingly oppositional states such as trauma, sexual agency, and spirituality?
Lehrer and Haynes use representational portraiture to define the formal charecteristics of the curve of a breast, the angle of an elbow, the presence of a wheelchair. Their work encourages identification with the vulnerable self and other. Zavitsanos’ work, also portraiture, leans towards abstraction, conveying the presence and absence of the body via the imprint it leaves on its environment. Ganesh and Perry’s work evokes corporeality through metaphor. Ganesh employs distortions of scale to imagine a spiritual anti-Eden – an impossible state that is at once powerful and ethereal. Perry documents an intrepid physical and political intervention into public space, keenly expressing the awkward humor of not blending into one’s surroundings. Yolaçan delves into the world of fashion, invoking ideas of body modification, sex play, costuming, and theatrical avatars.
The artists in BODY UTOPIA describe both the jouissance and the challenges of embodiment. BODY UTOPIA is an arena where alternate spaces and inner mythologies can be shared and revealed, thereby exposing points of view that engage and challenge assumptions about the body. Trestle Gallery will publish a catalogue of the work in the show with an essay by Clarity Haynes and an introduction by Mary Negro.