Through questioning physical and mental limitations commonly encountered within the realm of performative pieces, the show seeks to encourage a dialogue that reaches into the artists’ identities. Within the dialogue, a plethora of action-based intent relating to the work’s very creation is found. The exhibition seeks to shift the taboo through its unification of eight artists including: Jo Spence, Crack Rodríguez, Natalia LL, Richard Hambleton, Günter Brus, Rebecca Horn, Hawkins Bolden and Michael Druks. An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, July 30th, from 6-8 PM.
Comprised of radical individuals, the exhibition explores the mediums of sculpture, painting, photography and video framing how the artists’ actions and intent may be deciphered accordingly to their contexts. With the work rooted in a time frame spanning from the 1960s and finalizing in 2013, viewers will be challenged to confront narratives that amass themes of socio-political implications; in spite of their seemingly ambiguous appearances. The truths displayed rouses the question of how an individual may address personal, political and social issues through performance art. It also demands the inquiry of what constitutes a work of art to be defined as performative.
A central motif to be found in this exhibition is the cohesive narrative surrounding self-representation, whether that notion is stated explicitly or found implicitly; subjective to the artist and viewer alike. While artists like Jo Spence, Crack Rodríguez, Natalia LL, Günter Brus, and Michael Druks are clearly presented in their work; Hawkins Bolden, Richard Hambleton and Rebecca Horn appear to be elusive, yet their intent irrefutably identifiable during the process of creation. Together the merging of the explicit with the implicit indicates and redefines the boundaries of how performance art may truly reproduce the notion of self-identification.
In correspondence to physical presence and actions within an artwork, the artists share a defining characteristic that amplifies their need to perform. Whether troubles were encountered during early childhood or found within political conflict that threatened the safety of their well-being. No matter the trigger that incurred their creative process, each artist faced undesired trauma and although their differences, the resonating theme of trauma is a unifier.
Artist, Rebecca Horn, fell ill from lung poisoning aged twenty and spent a year isolated within the walls of a sanatorium. Her need to communicate became inevitably crucial and encouraged her to produce body sculptures that formed as a dialogical link to the world outside of her own. Inversely activist and artist, Crack Rodríguez, represents a stance against the oppressive, political conditions of El Salvador. His repetitive, hazardous and sometimes violent actions respond to the corruptive nature individuals of the country endure on a daily basis.
Hong Gyu Shin states, “In this exhibition, I wanted to focus on performative works from my collection. The artists identity and traumatic personal experiences were impactful motivations in creating their works. I wanted to highlight their stories. They are integral and continue to revolutionize the foundation of performance art.”