Make Me Feel Like A Woman
October 2 - December 11, 2016
Curated by Wardell Milan
(September 20, 2016 – New York, NY) Long Gallery Harlem is pleased to present Make Me Feel Like A Woman, curated by the artist Wardell Milan featuring new and recent work by Linda Gallagher, Daniela Puliti, Tiffany Smith, and Ted Partin. The exhibition deconstructs ideas and stereotypes of “womanhood” through work that presents 21st century narratives of American women. The exhibition catalyzes discussion on how women are perceived, analyzed, often disregarded as people, and frequently acknowledged simply as objects.
In Daniela Puliti’s Hang In There (2013-2016) series, the artist merges text with sculpture featuring sardonic yet telling phrases that challenge American society’s patriarchy-imbued perception of how women should behave and look. Hand embroidered statements are wrapped around old hangers which are devoid of their usual subjects, clothing. The hangers donning these statements directly address their audience and rattle complacency.
Ted Partin presents a binary series of photographs; one of black and white portraits of women and the other of portraits of the same women in full color. The series poetically portrays the complexities of memory in relation to reality, often a myopic personal history of an individual can contribute to an idealized interpretation of another. The work also delves into the celebration of the female body juxtaposed to notions of seduction and desire.
The unique quality of Partin’s richly dark portraits of women, give the illusion of faint, romanticized memories of his models likened to abstract silhouettes that hide any perceivable flaws. The color photographs of fully nude women are unyielding. Without the silvery dark shadows to blanket their imperfections, these women fully expose themselves to the viewers’ judgment and scrutiny.
Linda Gallagher’s GRLS at the End of the World (2016) shows female figures in an abstracted apocalypse; women are suspended in a liminal space showing only parts of their bodies. Legs jut in and out of the canvas like flying superheroes while a face at the center remains masked. Overturned handbags resemble football helmets and the viewer is left to imagine how these women will save the world.
The last work in the exhibition, Panic Room: A Safe Space for Reflection on the Value of Black Lives (2016) by Tiffany Smith, includes an installation inspired by the artist’s own bedroom. The installation offers a space for contemplation and meditation as a big screen T.V. plays a loop of static that features a soundscape created by the artist. A pulled out rug sits before a coffee table that presents a shrine-like series of images, all pulled from the internet, of various female family members directly affected by police brutality. Diamond Reynolds, girlfriend of Philando Castile, sits near Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and other women affected in these recent fatalities. In Panic Room, the artist questions the media’s representation (or lack-there of) of the role of women in tragic situations that affect their families while simultaneously filling a void to pay reverence to them.
Make Me Feel like a Woman is on view through December 11, 2016.
About Long Gallery Harlem
Long Gallery Harlem presents foremost work by contemporary artists of African descent and the greater Diaspora. Through critical programming the gallery maintains a rounded dialogue between established and emerging artists and challenges traditional representations of underrepresented people, irrespective of artist identity.
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