TUESDAY MAY, 3rd - 6-9PM
IN THE RAW: THE FEMALE GAZE ON THE NUDE
at Untitled Space Gallery, 45 Lispenard Street, #1, NY
Featured artists: Amanda Charchian, Aneta Bartos, Annika Connor, Coco Dolle, Elisa Garcia de la Huerta, Ellen Jong, Indira Cesarine, Jennifer Caviola, Katya Zvereva, Kelsey Bennett, Leah Schrager, Logan White, Loretta Mae Hirsch, Lynn Bianchi, Maria Kreyn, Marianna Rothen, Marie Tomanova, Meredith Ostrom, Sophia Wallace, and Victoria de Lesseps.
By KATIE CERCONE, APR 2016
Tuesday May 3rd, The Untitled Space in Tribeca presents In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude, curated by powerhouse feminist artist and curator Coco Dolle with gallery owner Indira Cesarine. The exhibit will be on view from May 4 - 21st, and includes photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media and video. In the Raw will compliment Untitled’s ongoing “Women in Art” program.
Featuring 20 multi-generational female artists, In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude is your more radical alternative to gallery Cheim & Read’s 2009 blue-chip Chelsea version The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women (part two of which is scheduled to open this June). Boasting art world stars such as Kara Walker, Tracey Emin, Nan Goldin, Lynda Benglis, Cindy Sherman and Louise Bourgeois among other notables, Cheim and Read’s show toots a star-studded horn on the hot topic, whereas In the Raw offers a more uncharted and undiscovered look at contemporary feminist politics of the female body (a look which curator Coco Dolle is pushing to prove is equally “saleable” in an effort to bring more female artists up to market speed).
Both artists themselves, Dolle and Cesarine handpicked other female creatives, such as young blood art world it-girl Leah Shrager, best known for her edgy and controversial Naked Therapy, which hints at the notion that it is largely unconscious male arousal which consistently frames and limits men’s interactions with women. Queer conceptualist Sophia Wallace will also show work. Wallace is the genius behind CLITERACY, 100 NATURAL LAWS, a comprehensive breakthrough project for Wallace which used text-based objects and guerilla interventions in public space to dismantle taboos associated with the clit. Other notables include Czech photographer Marie Tomanova, and Chilean artist Elisa Garcia de la Huerta from the queer, transnational feminist collective Go! Push Pops. A radical lesbian feminist known to use her nude body to express the immediate need for the earth’s total healing, in the lineage of folks like Ana Mendieta, Garcia’s powerful presence alone highlights the serious lack of representation of Latina women in the Arts. Victoria de Lesseps, one of the "Real Housewives of New York" kids will also be included in the show, as is characteristic of Dolle’s style of curation, which aims to straddle the realms of Fine Art, Fashion and Pop Culture all at once.
Untitled’s The Female Gaze promises to be an “uncensored” and timely art political discourse on women by women. Coinciding with the emergence of a media-savvy, sex-positive 4th wave feminist art presence, the artists in this show interrogate the sexual politics of “the gaze” — everything from age-old institutionalized patriarchal scopophilia to the raw forms of desire, envy, pleasure and power anchored in the female psyche-body which can be shared between and amongst women themselves. With provocative visual landscapes that probe the oceanic depths of female subjectivity, these artists draw from the ripe territory of their own experience, corporeal wisdom intact. Whether born from the intimate confines of their private ateliers or in the throes of their social media empires, these feminist renegades share with us their private rites of passage, rituals of sisterhood and physical passions.
Gallery owner and curator Indira Cesarine calls these moments “taboos” of “fear and fantasy." These artists come together to explode the unspoken rules of the Western canon — that women should be seen and not heard, and that men act and women appear. Like Coco, Indira has included some of her own work in the show and feels that the underlying subject matter (women’s lived reality) is one that only a female-bodied artist could tap into, claiming, “The exhibit embraces an intimacy between women, between artist and subject,” one she believes to be “fearless and empowering."
As for Coco Dolle, you may know her as leader of the modern Amazon woman troupe Legacy Fatale, which broke out into the NY Arts scene in 2008 with a performance at the Deitch Projects Art Parade. In addition to showing work of her own in The Female Gaze, Coco has included fours artists from her feminist curatorial platform Milk and Night.
With the female body more than ever still an object of public critique, scrutiny, and fetishization, the task of naming and claiming the reality and totality of women’s bodies and women’s embodied agency falls to these not-quite-famous female artists. They are not-quite-famous enough to stop rebelling and challenging us as viewers, and their works frame both gender performativity and feminist art politics in a brave new light. WM
Katie Cercone was born 1984 in Santa Rosa, CA and is an interdisciplinary artist, yogi, writer, curator, and instructor of a course called Gender Trouble at the School of Visual Art. Cercone has published critical writing in ART PAPERS, Brooklyn Rail, Posture, Hysteria Magazine, Bitch Magazine, REVOLT, Utne Reader, N.Paradoxa and Public Art Dialogue, as well as curated shows for Momenta Art, Sensei Gallery, Cue Art Foundation and NurtureArt. Cercone was a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow for the JUSFC Exchange Program in Tokyo, Japan. Check her out on instagram as @MysticalRatchetview all articles from this author