Wednesday, 11. January 2017, New York, Closing Reception: Subverting the Feminine

from 11. January 2017 - 18:00 till 21:00
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8 people attending
Event description
Y Gallery cordially invites you to the Closing Reception for Subverting the Feminine: Latin American (Re)marks on the Female Body, curated by Isabela Villanueva.
****** José Galindo, Teresa Margolles, Maria Evelia Marmolejo
Polvo de Gallina Negra, Elena Tejada-Herrera, Yeni and Nan

Y Gallery is located at 319 Grand Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10002, (corner of Orchard Street). We look forward to seeing you!
November 20th, 2016 – January 11th, 2017
Closing Reception: Wednesday, January 11th, 6pm-9pm

Subverting the Feminine: Latin American (Re)marks on the Female Body presents the work of six Latin American artists who question the phenomenology of the female body, while exploring the complete form in which society constructs the notions of femininity, sexuality and the roles and/or cycles of a woman’s life. Through actions and artworks, the bodies of these artists are converted into metaphorical receptacles for politically and socially coded information.

The artists included in the exhibition inquire about the social, political and sexual problems related to women’s identities. There is an emphasis on the corporeal, on the use of the body as support and medium of expression for questioning the chauvinist and patriarchal society that surrounds us.

The show, curated by Isabela Villanueva, includes a record of historic performances, like Yeni and Nan’s “Integrations in Water,” Colombian artist Maria Evelia Marmolejo’s, “March 11th,” and Mexican feminist group Polvo de Gallina Negra’s “Mothers!” The show also includes more recent works from critically acclaimed artists like Teresa Margolles; who will present her video “Incision,” also “Hymenoplasty” by ****** José Galindo and a series of drawings by Peruvian artist Elena Tejada-Herrera.

Yeni and Nan’s (Jennifer Hackshaw and María Luisa González) work in Subverting the Feminine includes performance ephemera such as photographs and video documenting their performance “Integraciones en el Agua” (1981) - in which the artists presented their submerged bodies within small plastic containers filled with water symbolizing birth, survival and transformation of space. In a broader sense, the duo’s unique body of work is crucial to the history of action-based art in Venezuela. They arrived at the concept of body-art via metaphor as seen in their underwater gestures that provide us with an image and memory of the natural cycles of the origin of life. Their slow movements evoke the vastness of the oceans that were the source of life, and the almost amniotic concentration inside the plastic containers that expand their movements until they emerge into the light.

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Also on view will be two sets of photos that document Maria Evelia Marmolejo’s performances titled, “March 11th” (Ritual to the menstrual cycle, worthy of every woman as the antecedent to the origin of life), and, “Anónimo 4” (at the Banks of the Río Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Colombia); both from 1982. “March 11th” deals with the experience of menstruation, which has had a history of being taboo, and has been considered shameful and repugnant in most cultures and religions. In this performance Marmolejo emphasizes the pivotal role of womanhood in the origin of life and of her civil rights in the world. The performance took place at the Galería San Diego in Bogotá, where Marmolejo arranged paper on the floor in an L shape, lit the space with black lights and played in the background a soundtrack of a toilet flushing. Thework, titled after the first day of her menstrual cycle which is when she the performance took place, consisted on the artist using her menstrual bodily fluids to paint and mark the Gallery walls and white papers lined on the floor.

Photographs of Marmolejo’s “Anónimo 4” are exhibited as well, this is a performance that took place at sunset on the banks of the Río Cauca, Colombia; where the artist dug a triangular pit of 1.5 meters, her height, filled it with layers of human placentas of births from that same day in Cali, that she collected from public hospitals. Three adjacent smaller pits were filled with sewage water. The artist tied placentas to her body with plastic strips and stood on the placentas in the larger triangle. Through this action the artist attempted to embark on a psychological and sociological self-exploration of the fear of being born in a society in which there are no guarantees of survival. These self-reflections, produced involuntary physiological reactions, including vomiting and crying.

A work by first feminist art collective in Mexico, “Polvo de Gallina Negra” (“Black Hen Powder”), composed of Maris Bustamante and Mónica Mayer, is also included inSubverting the Feminine. Polvo de Gallina Negra’s actions combined radical social criticism with extravagant doses of humor. For their 1987 project "¡MADRES!," the artists performed a long-term social intervention on motherhood. Their first action was to become pregnant. And, indeed, Mayer and Bustamante each gave birth to a girl three months apart. Shown in the exhibition is the video Madre por un día, where Mayer and Bustamante appeared on the well known talk show "Nuestro Mundo" to discuss motherhood and female archetypes, they also persuaded the popular news anchor Guillermo Ochoa to sport a maternal feminine prosthesis and granted him the“honor” of being "mother for a day."

Also exhibited is “Hymenoplasty,” a project carried out by performance artist ****** José Galindo, that interrogates social norms and practices, particularly as they apply to women and their sexual objectification. For this work Galindo was filmed getting a hymenoplasty, a surgical reconstruction of the hymen, a procedure that is unfortunately common in her native Guatemala and other conservative countries, in order to retain a woman’s intactness for their wedding nights, as well as for feeding the demand for 'virgins,' real or otherwise in *** trafficking rings. This video brings viewers to the threshold of visual tolerance and sadly left the artist bleeding from a botched medical procedure, but earned her the Golden Lion award for Best Young Artist at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Another powerhouse artist featured is Teresa Margolles with her 2016 video “Incision” a piece that registers a crack being made with a sharp and blunt instrument onto the wall by Sonia Victoria Vera Bohórquez, a transgender who works as a ********** in Zürich ( with whom Margolles worked with for her recent Manifesta 11 project). The strenuous action performed by Sonia is referencing the difficult struggle people of LGBT community **** on a daily basis for tolerance, acceptance and equal rights.

Finally, Elena Tejada-Herrera will be presenting drawings from her project “Lectures”, a hybrid work; part performance and part registry of the talk the artist attends to, where she drew the speakers, and took notes and commentaries in regards to what they were saying - all of this is included in the image. The artist´s aim is that, in presenting the drawings, she is also transferring the information received in the talks. For the exhibition we will only be presenting a selection of drawings, that feature only women speakers.

Closing Reception: Subverting the Feminine, New York event

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