This Body at Garis & Hahn
Working with a wide range of materials, the ten artists in this group exhibition explore issues of the body, personal identity and perception: topics of immediate relevance to current events. As society continues to become increasingly polarized, the new paradigm is inclined to categorize people into binary extremes, rather than celebrate individual attributes.
Opinions, personalities and appearances are pigeonholed; fat or thin, independent or subservient, conservative or liberal and other absolutes are expressed in a rigid and exclusive manner consisting of only the two diametrically opposed concepts. Too often, values and principles are regarded as either universally valid or not—if one does not identify with a specific idea, one must be in direct opposition to it.
With the collective awakening behind female-led movements such as the Women’s March and #MeToo, there has come an inspiring shift, manifesting fundamental changes in the widespread championing of strong and independent women. However, empowerment looks different from person to person, and how one chooses to embody that notion is a unique, autonomous decision. Is there a space for women to be self-reliantly independent while concurrently possessing the qualities or appearance traditionally thought of as feminine? Or are those distinguishing characteristics now considered mutually incompatible, incapable of existing together? Perhaps by engaging changing notions, celebrating individuality, and broadening perceptions of femininity, society might encounter a greater sense of inclusivity.
The women artists featured in This Body represent varied experiences and circumstances, different and diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, all of them having established a unique space for herself in this world. These women tell their own stories in their own distinctive way, creating work which goes beyond the limits of extremes, transcending the qualities and characteristics associated with perceived traits.