Utilizing the Feminine Gaze to Look Contained in the Self
Arielle Bobb-Willis. San Francisco, 2017.
Arielle Bobb-Willis. NYC, 2016.
What we see is knowledgeable by how we have a look at it. What will get framed, by who and to what finish are a few of the questions that happen each time a picture is launched. Within the realms of Western artwork and historical past, entry has been restricted to a choose few who maintain the ability to make use of iconography to affect and form concepts about “fact.”
It is just in current instances that the query of intent and exclusion have been put to the pantheon, calling out misinformation and marginalization, over and over. At a sure level, one ceases to argue and decenter the narratives foisted upon us. Quite than shadowbox with a lie, we will select to alter the paradigm writ massive.
Curators Jon Feinstein and Roula Seikaly did simply this with An Inward Gaze, at present on view at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland by means of June 2. Right here, they convey collectively the work of Arielle Bobb-Willis and Brittney Cathey-Adams, two ladies who make sculptural, performative photos that liberates representations of gender, race, and physique dimension from the strictures of the white male gaze.
An Inward Gaze is a meditation on language of wanting, and the best way that we think about the self as a literal being in addition to a metaphorical one. We constantly scan and skim, then interpret what we see by means of the filters of affirmation bias, which are sometimes motivated by visceral, unconscious, unexpressed wants. We search settlement or discord to show ourselves proper — by no means fairly notice the traps we set in plain sight.
Artwork is that second of pause, rewind again, then play as soon as extra. It will probably cease us in our tracks, talking in a language extra fast and common than phrases, forcing us to acknowledge we will by no means unseen what we noticed. The artists options in An Inward Gaze makes use of images to introduce one thing past the pale and flaccid clichés of a lot Western artwork.
Native New Yorker Arielle Bobb-Willis makes use of the digital camera as a instrument of empowerment, one thing taken on at a younger age to battle the tortuous grip of despair. Right here, she levels scenes that evoke the dreamscape, an irrational inside world stuffed with complicated emotional struggles that manifest in fascinatingly acquainted distortions of kind, rendering an invisible power into precise being.
Brittney Cathey-Adams offers us the Venus of Willendorf in black and white, restoring the traditional idol of fertility with reverence. Cathey-Adams’s ladies are stuffed with highly effective depth, able to explode with mild and power. Her images are a strong reminder that the iconography of girl has at all times been bigger than life — till the powers that be felt it their place to meddle in that which they don’t have any proper.
Introduced collectively in silent dialogue, An Inward Gaze facilities the sacred female as soon as extra, asserting the truth that those that struggle on the unsuitable aspect of historical past are doomed to fail.
Arielle Bobb-Willis. New Orleans, 2017.
Brittney Cathey-Adams. Embrace.
Brittney Cathey-Adams. Breath.
Brittney Cathey-Adams. Enigma.
Arielle Bobb-Willis. New Orleans 2, 2016.
All photos: © the artist, courtesy of Blue Sky Gallery