May 20th through June 20th, 2017
Opening, Saturday, May 20th, 6-9, Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, 96 Bedford Street, Stamford, CT 06901
Beyond Indifference is a collection of mixed media works assembled from decorative and domestic objects commonly associated with the “feminine”. Materials and medium, through personal association, evoke memory and emotion. The series is not a memorial but rather moves with the subject of misogyny and the questions of gender. The work is both a product of the changing worlds around it and an element of interaction with these worlds. The objects of the work are the objects of the worlds with which it is concerned. By incorporating materials of lived-experience – cookware, appliances, and décor – the work challenges a purist aesthetic hierarchy that privileges one set of materials over another based on gender association. This is an exhibition of history, of politics, and of lived life.
The artwork titled Power Figure is the centerpiece for the series. The sculpture is inspired by power figures called Nkisi Nkondi made by the Kongo people of the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 19th century. Power Figure serves as the administrator of justice for the collection and attempts to drive away destructive forces believed to be the cause of individual ailments and broader social and political ills represented in the each of the eleven sculptures in the series. Selected for their association to women, fingernails, hair and herbs are stored in the belly of Power Figure to draw in the power of spirits. The medicinal combination is shielded by a piece of reflective surface that represents the ‘other world’ inhabited by the spirits of the dead who can peer through and see potential enemies. To evoke the spiritual force of the Power Figure, eleven knitting needles are driven into the figure and, as a result, uncover the sources of affliction contained in each sculpture. A small strip of stocking is cut from every sculpture in the series and attached to the base of one of the imbedded knitting needles in order to increase the spiritual powers. The clothes iron, winding cord and plug refer directly to the figure’s function to address issues concerning misogyny and gender. When brought to life, Power Figure has the power to heal, to protect, and even to punish.